Ontario government freezes WSIB rates

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TORONTO, Ont. – After a year-long lobbying bid by the Ontario Trucking Association and other business groups, the Workers’ Safety & Insurance Board (WSIB) announced it has reversed its former policy of increasing WSIB premiums and will keep the average premium rate at the same level as it was in 2006.

While the average premium rate remains the same across all industries, individual rates for each industry fluctuate based on the safety performance of those rate groups.

An estimated 42% of industry rate groups will still see an increase in their premiums for next year, with some increases as high as 12%.

But for trucking companies, warehousing operations and courier services, the WSIB premium rates will remain frozen at their 2006 levels at $5.84, $2.73, and $2.54 per $100 of payroll, respectively.

OTA president David Bradley welcomed this development saying, “We’re obviously delighted that our lobby efforts have paid off and that the WSIB has seen the light and abandoned their rate hiking policy in favour of keeping rates down. After having several meetings with the Minister of Labour, the new Chair of the WSIB, and senior officials with the WSIB, we’re pleased that they chose to listen to the business community and put a stop to the WSIB’s planned rate hikes.

“I have no doubt that this very positive development reflects a more business-like approach at the WSIB that starts at the top with Steve Mahoney who was appointed as the new Chair of the WSIB earlier this year,” Bradley continued. “Mr. Mahoney has a long track record of working co-operatively with stakeholders and this is a very good start to his tenure as WSIB Chair. It certainly bodes well for the future and we look forward to working with him over the coming years to deal with many of the other pressing issues facing the WSIB.”

Bradley also said special thanks should go out to OTA’s manager of government relations, Doug Switzer, who has responsibility for workers’ compensation issues.

“It can be a frustrating and difficult thing working with the board, but Doug remained diligent on this file and worked hard to keep the coalition of business interests unified; his efforts have paid off,” Bradley said.

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