July 9, 2007
FREDERICTON (CNB) - The Independent Review Panel looking at the New Brunswick Workplace Health, Safety and Compensation system recently met to provide a work plan to government on the steps the panel has taken and will be taking to complete their report by January 2008.
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 panel held an initial meeting with stakeholder associations in mid-June 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. Over the summer, the review panel will examine the existing WHSCC system in detail and similar systems in other Canadian jurisdictions.
In the fall, a number of focused discussions papers will be posted on the review panel's website http://www.gnb.ca/irp-cri for comment by New Brunswickers. Notification will be provided in the media when the discussion papers are posted. As well, the panel will hold public and stakeholder consultations later in the fall. The final report will be presented to Doherty and the WHSCC by January 2008 and 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 competitive costs," 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 Independent 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: Lisa Harrity, Communications New Brunswick, 506-453-4418.