June 13, 2007
FREDERICTON (CNB) -- The independent review panel looking at the New Brunswick Workplace Health, Safety and Compensation system held its initial meeting today in Fredericton.
The three-member review panel was announced in May by Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour Minister Ed Doherty and is chaired by Louis R. Comeau, with Robert Breen representing workers and James LeMesurier representing employers. The government committed to conduct a review of the Worplace Health, Safety and Compensation Commission (WHSCC) to better ensure workplace heath and safety in its Charter for Change platform.
"The initial meeting was held to introduce stakeholders to the review panel members and to participate in an informal discussion on workplace safety and the issues surrounding it from perspective of both workers and employers," Doherty said. "There will be further opportunities for consultation in the coming months, once the review panel has had time to examine the current workplace health and safety environment and the workings of the WHSCC."
The WHSCC administers no-fault workplace accident and disability insurance for employers and their workers. It is responsible for the administration of the WHSCC Act, the Workers' Compensation Act, the Occupational Health and Safety Act, and corresponding regulations.
The review panel will examine the existing WHSCC system in detail and similar systems in other Canadian jurisdictions. The panel will also hold consultations with key stakeholders in New Brunswick over the coming months. The panel will present a final report to the minister before the end of 2007 that will include recommendations for the operation of the WHSCC.
"In examining the WHSCC and the existing compensation system in New Brunswick, it is our intention to enable employers to provide the best insurance program possible to employees at a reasonable cost," Comeau said. "During our review and our consultations with employers and workers, we are aiming to produce a final report that achieves a working consensus and a system that performs for both employees and employers."
For further information on the Review Panel and/or to comment on the Workplace Health, Safety and Compensation system in New Brunswick, visit the website at: http://www.gnb.ca/irp-cri.
MEDIA CONTACT: Craig Chouinard, Communications New Brunswick, 506-444-2519.