May 24, 2007
FREDERICTON (CNB) - Another commitment from the Charter for Change was fulfilled today with the launch of an independent review of the Workplace Health, Safety and Compensation Commission (WHSCC). Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour Minister Ed Doherty made the announcement today.
"The purpose of this review is to determine whether the current WHSCC system provides the most appropriate benefits possible," the minister said. "The review will examine how well the current system compares to workers' compensation systems across Canada, and will also reveal key considerations for the future 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.
Doherty also named the three-member panel that will be responsible for implementing the review. Louis R. Comeau will serve as the panel chair, Robert Breen will act as a representative for labour groups, and James LeMesurier will act as a representative for employer groups. Their work will begin immediately.
"Mr. Comeau, Mr. Breen and Mr. LeMesurier bring a wealth of experience and unique perspectives to this process," the minister said. "I am confident their knowledge and understanding will serve this review well."
The three-member panel will engage in activities that will include, but are not limited to, an environment scan of the existing WHSCC system and consultations to examine similar systems in other Canadian jurisdictions. The panel will also develop and execute a strategy for targeted consultations with key stakeholders in New Brunswick, and present a final report to the minister before the end of 2007 that will include recommendations for the WHSCC.
"As our Charter for Change states, we are committed to ensuring our employees' work sites are safe and their benefits are secure. We support our workers, and we support the employers who drive our economic engine," Doherty said. "For this reason, we must ensure that the existing WHSCC system maintains the delicate balance between these two groups, and that it continues to incorporate the best possible practices in preserving the safety and health of New Brunswick's workers and employers while providing quality services and just adjudication."
MEDIA CONTACT: Shawn Hearn, Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour, 506-453-2568.