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News Releases

BC's WCB Act to be amended to broaden coverage for mental stress conditions arising in workplace

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia

The British Columbia Government has introduced amendments to the Workers Compensation Act that, among other features, broaden compensation coverage for mental stress conditions arising in the workplace.

The amendments were introduced in the legislature on November 3, 2011. In the government's news release, Minister of Labour, Citizens' Services and Open Government Margaret MacDiarmid states:

Our government recognizes that we need to treat job-related mental stress the same way we treat physical illness and injuries. We know mental stress has a significant impact on workers, their families and their workplace.

The Ministry's Backgrounder that accompanied the news release states:

What are the effects of mental stress?

Since mental stress most often results in physical and psychological symptoms, it has a significant effect on workers and their families.  read more »

Canada’s first national whitepaper on telework published

Today marks the publication of what is being called Canada's first whitepaper to address telworking.

The paper - "WORKshift Canada: the bottom line on telework" - was prepared by Calgary Economic Development, in collaboration with the Telework Research Network.

The April 18, 2011 news release trumpeting the paper's publication sets out the following stats:  read more »

WorkSafeBC imposes record total penalties of $4.4 million in 2009 against employers

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia

WorkSafeBC imposed a record total penalty amount of more than $4.4 million in 2009 against employers for violations of the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation and the Workers Compensation Act.

Key facts set out in the News Release, 2009 Penalty Report and Backgrounder issued by WorkSafeBC on March 11, 2010, include:

2009 Penalty Report  read more »

WorkSafeBC average base premium rates to remain at $1.56 in 2010

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia

WorkSafeBC announced today that BC employers’ 2010 average base premium rates will remain the same as the last two years, at $1.56 per $100 of employers’ assessable payroll.

These are the lowest rates in more than 30 years, down from a high of $2.29 in 1996, according to WorkSafeBC. 

The news release further stated that:

The average published base premium rate is a composite of rates in 66 individual rate groups, which function as separate mutual insurance pools for B.C.’s industries. Insurance premium rates for B.C.’s 200,000 registered employers are based on the claims cost (or safety) history of their industry and similar employers, and on individual performance.

In 2010, 41 percent of employers will see their base premium rates decrease from 2009, 5 percent will see their base rates remain the same and 54 percent of employers will see their base rates increase.  read more »

BC extends student WorkSafeBC coverage to independent schools

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia
Sector: - Education

The BC Government announced today that students in independent schools "who participate in unpaid work experience opportunities to meet graduation requirements will now have their WorkSafeBC fees covered by the Province just like students in the public school system".

You can read the full mediea release here.

New legislation prohibits smoking in Ontario workplaces

Jurisdiction: - Ontario

The Ontario Ministry of Health Promotion issued this news release today:

Ontario Goes Smoke-Free

Historic Law To Protect Ontarians Health

QUEEN'S PARK - Ontarians' right to be free from second-hand smoke is now law.

"The McGuinty government is on the side of Ontarians who are concerned about their health. This unprecedented action is the cornerstone of our Smoke-Free Ontario Strategy," said Minister of Health Promotion Jim Watson. "Tobacco causes about one preventable death in Ontario every 30 minutes; that's16,000 lives in Ontario every year."  read more »