Letter to the Editor

What could chamber be thinking? Open letter to Brad Cathers, Minister responsible for the Yukon Workers’ Compensation Health and Safety…

What could chamber be thinking?

Open letter to Brad Cathers, Minister responsible for the Yukon Workers’ Compensation Health and Safety Board:

I am writing to you in regards to the review of the Yukon Workers’ Compensation Health and SafetyBoard as requested by the Whitehorse Chamber of Commerce.

I never cease to be amazed by groups like the Whitehorse Chamber of Commerce, which think nothing of spending thousands of dollars on outside consultants who have little or no knowledge of the issues.

It is obvious that, had the learned professor fully researched the subject, he would have found there exists a workers’ compensation board adjudication agreement with the Alberta workers’ compensation and federal government to cover federal government workers in the Yukon and Northwest Territories.

This arrangement was forced on the federal government in 1965 when insurance companies refused to cover federal employees in the territories because their lawyer considered federal employees transient, as they rotated from Ottawa every one or two years and, therefore, were not considered permanent residents of the territories.

Prior to the establishment of the Yukon Workers’ Health and Safety Board in 1972, all companies working in the territories were legislated under Commissioner’s order to purchase private insurance policies to cover their employees for injuries or sickness in the workplace.

This protection program supplied by the insurance companies was administered and adjudicated by the Alberta workers’ compensation board on behalf of the insurance companies, which provided no local administrative staff to assist territorial companies or injured workers in processing claims.

Everything was processed long distance via correspondence, phone or telex.

If your claim was turned down and couldn’t be resolved by the above means you had to find your way to Edmonton, find a lawyer and present your case to the Alberta workers’ compensation board at an adjudication appeal hearing.

This arrangement was so unsatisfactory that in the early 1970s labour unions and companies small and large petitioned to the Commissioner of the day to pass legislation to form a Yukon Workers’ Compensation Act, which resulted in the 1972 act being proclaimed.

I find it strange that Rick Karp would say a BC official of the workers’ compensation board advised they could incorporate Yukon workers with less cost when Ottawa is charged a 23 per cent administration fee to adjudicate claims on behalf of federal workers with Edmonton workers’ compensation.

These arrangements don’t lose jobs, but actually duplicate jobs and slow down the process at extra cost.

Everyone agrees that the rates seem high in comparison to the 1970s through 1990s when there were many more mines operating (considered high risk).

There are many causes for accidents; starting with attitude, poor training and lack of job safety orientation, to name a few.

I hope that any review of the Yukon Workers’ Health and Safety Board will solicit views from stakeholders before any radical changes are considered.

Frank Bachmier, retired safety officer, Whitehorse

Why war on drugs is being lost

Re War on drugs is blowing up in our faces, expert warns, (the News, February 22):

Writer Lawrie Crawford has given us an outstanding article. I do hope the powers that be are paying even a little attention.

As a taxpayer I am very uncomfortable paying for this insanity. (The feds have been doing the same thing over and over again, expecting the outcome to change).

But wait, it gets worse! The taxpayer-subsidized pharmaceutical industry spends millions to teach us that if we have pain (physical or emotional) we should take drugs.

We needn’t worry about the why, just take this and we’ll “feel better.” Quite a lesson for the children!

My tax dollars pay for a “health-care” system, which promotes the use of these drugs and discourages other approaches that could help people sort out the causes of their pain (naturopathic and chiropractic doctors, masseuses, and physiotherapists, as a few examples).

It really does look like it’s all about money.

At least with drug dealers I can choose not to give them my money.

F. Chandler

Whitehorse

Wonky priorities in Watson Lake

Open letter to Premier Dennis Fentie:

Why does our liquor store parking lot get plowed before the hospital and schools?

The hospital makes people healthy. The schools make people smart. The liquor store makes people drunk.

Shows where our priorities are, doesn’t it?

Dale Worsfold

Watson Lake

Just Posted

Lorraine Kuhn is seen with one of the many volleyball teams she coached. (Photo submitted by Sport Yukon)
The Yukon Sports Hall of Fame inducts the late Lorraine Kuhn

Lorraine Kuhn became the newest member of the Yukon Sports Hall of Fame for her work in growing volleyball amongst other sports

File Photo
A Yukon judge approved dangerous offender status for a man guilty of a string of assaults in 2020.
Yukon judge sentences dangerous offender to indefinite prison term

Herman Peter Thorn, 51, was given the sentence for 2020 assaults, history of violence

Crystal Schick/ Yukon News A former residential school in the Kaska Dena community of Lower Post will be demolished on June 21. Crystal Schick/ Yukon News
Lower Post residential school demolition postponed

On June 21, the old residential school in Lower Post will be demolished and new ground on a multi-cultural centre will be broken

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley announced 29 new COVID-19 cases on June 19 and community transmission among unvaccinated individuals. (Yukon News file)
Yukon logs record-high 29 new COVID-19 cases

F.H. Collins prom attendees and some Porter Creek Grade 9 students are instructed to self-isolate as community transmission sweeps through unvaccinated populations

Willow Brewster, a paramedic helping in the COVID-19 drive-thru testing centre, holds a swab used for the COVID-19 test moments before using it on Nov. 24. The Yukon government is reopening the drive-thru option on June 18. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Drive-up COVID-19 testing opening June 18 in Whitehorse

The drive-up testing will be open from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. everyday and increase testing capacity by 33 spots

Whitehorse City Hall (Yukon News file)
City news, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council at its June 14 meeting

Murray Arsenault sits in the drivers seat of his 1975 Bricklin SV1 in Whitehorse on June 16. (Stephanie Waddell/Yukon News)
Bringing the 1975 Bricklin north

Murray Arsenault remembers his dad’s Bricklin, while now driving his own

A presumptive COVID case was found at Seabridge Gold’s 3 Aces project. (file photo)
Presumptive COVID-19 case reported at mine in southeast Yukon

A rapid antigen rest found a presumptive COVID case on an incoming individual arriving at the 3Aces project

Jonathan Antoine/Cabin Radio
Flooding in Fort Simpson on May 8.
Fort Simpson asked for military help. Two people showed up.

FORT SIMPSON—Residents of a flooded Northwest Territories village expected a helping hand… Continue reading

A woman was rescued from the Pioneer Ridge Trail in Alaska on June 16. (Photo courtesy/AllTrails)
Alaska hiker chased off trail by bears flags down help

ANCHORAGE (AP)—An Alaska hiker who reported needing help following bear encounters on… Continue reading

Two participants cross the finish line at the City of Whitehorse Kids Triathlon on June 12 with Mayor Dan Curtis on hand to present medals. (Stephanie Waddell/Yukon News)
2021 Kids’ Triathlon draws 76 young athletes

Youth ages five to 14 swim, run and bike their way to finish line

NDP MP Mumilaaq Qaqqaq rises in the House of Commons, in Ottawa on May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
‘Unacceptable’ that Inuk MP felt unsafe in House of Commons, Miller says

OTTAWA—It’s a “sad reflection” on Canada that an Inuk MP feels she’s… Continue reading

Lily Witten performs her Canadian Nationals beam routine on June 14. John Tonin/Yukon News
Three Yukon gymnasts break 20-year Nationals absence

Bianca Berko-Malvasio, Maude Molgat and Lily Witten competed at the Canadian Nationals – the first time in 20 years the Yukon’s been represented at the meet

Most Read