Have you been around too long?

Have you been around too long? Open letter to Craig Tuton, chair of the Yukon Workers' Compensation Health and Safety Board: Craig Tuton, as stated in my first letter, you mentioned the report I wrote for the chamber was "riddled with errors in fact as

Open letter to Craig Tuton, chair of the Yukon Workers’ Compensation Health and Safety Board:

Craig Tuton, as stated in my first letter, you mentioned the report I wrote for the chamber was “riddled with errors in fact as well as in methodology.”

If there are errors in fact, Tuton, they are errors that your board provided to the Association of Workers’ Compensation Boards of Canada because that is where I got the facts.

I only used information your board provided to your national association.

In your comments to both the legislature and to the media, you brought forward specific items from the report that you stated were incorrect.

Today, I would like to respond to these points:

Â¥ Workers’ compensation is an insurance fund and not a government department and is paid for completely by employers.

Â¥ The issue of fines and safety violations.

Â¥ Number of days from injury to first payment.

As the chair of WCB, I should not have to remind you that workers’ compensation is not a government department funded by tax dollars. It is an insurance system to protect both injured workers and employers, which is fully funded by employers’ assessments Ð not Yukon citizens’ tax dollars.

For you to compare how the Yukon tax dollars are spent on education or health care and then relate this to the employers’ investment into an insurance system is comparing apples to oranges.

WCB is an insurance system, not a social net.

As for your premise of “buying locally,” if this is such a concern for you, why is it that your board does not use the local investment firms to manage the benefit liability fund of $120,000,000?

The reason that you don’t use local expertise here is that you want the best expertise available in Canada for the best price. Employers are asking for nothing different Ð the best insurance for the best price.

Turning to the next issue, Tuton, you were very quick to paint the worst possible picture as it relates to the fines and safety violations in the BC jurisdiction.

It is true that the BC jurisdiction utilizes both fines and penalties more rigidly against employers who do not comply with the requirements with a view to protect both the employer assessment rates as well as to encourage safer workplaces.

In 2007, the BC jurisdiction conducted 29,893 occupational health and safety inspections resulting in 51,690 orders being issued to BC employers with a total value of the penalties being $4,300,000. Tuton, I am sure that after you do the math you will see that the average penalty per order was $83.

Your comment, “So I mean, we are willing to look at stiffer fines and more prescriptive regulations if that’s what employers are asking for,” is definitely a threat, which, in today’s society, will not get you very far nor create a sound working relationship with employers.

Again, Tuton, the average penalty in BC as mentioned above is $83 and, when we talk about relationships, WorkSafeBC has an approval rating of close to 80 per cent from their employer group.

Now Tuton, let us deal with your comment with regard to the number of days from injury to first payment as you stated in the legislature, “The study they used, that they quoted, states that here in the Yukon the time to first payment is 41 days. But to get that number, they had to go well back into the history books, which is something that I don’t quite understand … If you look at our website, you’ll see the Yukon’s average time to first payment in 2009 is actually 19.7 days, which is 3.5 days faster than the time to first payment in BC.”

Tuton, you are quoting the third quarter 2009 rate of 19.7 days. Then compare that to the 2007 rate for BC.

Tuton, we went to the most recent Association of Workers’ Compensation Boards of Canada statistics, not well back into the history book to find the statistic because that is the most current information that you have provided to your national association and they have had the time to vet.

Up until a few days ago, there was a graph on your website which showed that the average number of days from claim creation to payment for the third quarter of 2009 was 28 days and yet in another graph the average number of days from injury to payment was 20 days.

Tuton, it would appear that you are creating claims eight days before an injury happens.

Again, Tuton, where does the 19.7 days come from when you are saying it takes 28 days from claim creation to payment in the third quarter of 2009?

This is the reason that the report I did for the chamber utilized information reviewed by your national association. At least you have now taken this incorrect graph off your results scorecard. It makes me wonder what other information provided in the scorecard or website is incorrect.

Tuton, as the chair of the WCB, it is expected you are a credible person who presents all of the facts and not just those that favour your position.

From your recent conduct, it would appear that you have lost your credibility and, as such, maybe you have been the chair to long and it is time for you to step down and allow a more creditble person to take over.

Ivan Dechkoff


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Team Yukon skip Laura Eby, left, directs her team as Team Northern Ontario skip Krysta Burns looks on at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Calgary on Feb. 22. (Jeff McIntosh/CP)
Team Yukon reports positive experience at Scotties

Team Yukon played their final game at the national championship in Calgary on Thursday afternoon

A sign indicating a drop-off area behind Selkirk Elementary school in Whitehorse on Feb. 25. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Parking lot proposal for Selkirk Elementary criticized

Parents and school council are raising concerns about green space and traffic woes


Wyatt’s World for Feb. 26, 2021

Josi Leideritz, the executive director for the Yukon Quest International Association (Canada), poses for a photo in Whitehorse on Oct.1, 2020. The Quest announced plans for its 2022 race to start in Fairbanks on Feb. 5. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
2022 Quest planning gets underway

Race would begin Feb. 5 in Fairbanks

Beadwork and boots being sold by the Yukon First Nations Culture and Tourism Association. A survey from StatsCan reveals the number of Indigenous people who make handmade crafts. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Survey reveals number of Yukoners who speak Indigenous languages

Yukon is behind Nunavut and Northwest Territories when it comes to language retention

Tom Ullyett, pictured, is the first Yukoner to receive the Louis St-Laurent Award of Excellence from the Canadian Bar Association for his work as a community builder and mentor in the territory. (Gabrielle Plonka/Yukon News)
Tom Ullyett wins lifetime achievement award from the Canadian Bar Association

Ullyett has worked in the Yukon’s justice ecosystem for 36 years as a public sector lawyer and mentor

The Blood Ties outreach van will now run seven nights a week, thanks to a boost in government funding. Logan Godin, coordinator, and Jesse Whelen, harm reduction counsellor, are seen here on May 12, 2020. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Blood Ties outreach van running seven nights a week with funding boost

The Yukon government is ramping up overdose response, considering safe supply plan

Ranj Pillai speaks to media about business relief programs in Whitehorse on April 1, 2020. The Yukon government announced Feb.25 that it will extend business support programs until September. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Government extends business relief programs to September, launches new loan

“It really gives folks some help with supporting their business with cash flow.”

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
A look at decisions made by Whitehorse City Council this week

Bylaw amendment Whitehorse city council is moving closer with changes to a… Continue reading

Susie Rogan is a veteran musher with 14 years of racing experience and Yukon Journey organizer. (Yukon Journey Facebook)
Yukon Journey mushers begin 255-mile race

Eleven mushers are participating in the race from Pelly Crossing to Whitehorse

Legislative assembly on the last day of the fall sitting in Whitehorse on Nov. 22, 2018. As the legislature prepares to return on March 4, the three parties are continuing to finalize candidates in the territory’s 19 ridings. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Nine new candidates confirmed in Yukon ridings

It has been a busy two weeks as the parties try to firm up candidates

David Malcolm, 40, has been charged with assaulting and attempting to disarm a police officer after an incident in Whitehorse on Feb. 18. (Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
Man resists arrest, assaults officer

A Whitehorse man has been charged with assaulting and attempting to disarm… Continue reading

Yukon Energy in Whitehorse on Aug. 4, 2020. A site on Robert Service Way near the Alaska Highway has been selected as the future home of Yukon Energy’s energy storage project. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Site selected for Yukon Energy battery project

Planned to be in service by the end of 2022

Most Read