Tuton resigns as WCB chair

Craig Tuton will resign as chair of the Yukon Workers’ Compensation Health and Safety Board. Tuton, 60, has been at the helm of the compensation board for seven years.

Craig Tuton will resign as chair of the Yukon Workers’ Compensation Health and Safety Board.

Tuton, 60, has been at the helm of the compensation board for seven years.

“My job is done,” he said. “I’ve got grandchildren I’m hoping to spend more time with.”

Tuton has chaired the Whitehorse Hospital Corporation and manned political campaigns for the Yukon Party while in his position at the compensation board.

“When I was asked to do both (chairmanships), I knew it was going to be a challenge,” he said. “Hopefully, I did both. Now I just need the time to do other things.”

Tuton feels his legacy is cleaning up the board’s books.

“I clearly remember the very first year when I looked at the financial statements at year end and saw that we were $25 million in the hole and I looked at that as a challenge,” he said.

“And I looked at the subsidy which employers were receiving on their assessment rates running out,” he said. “I knew the cost of the services was going to have to be paid by somebody and that somebody was going to be to be employers.”

“There were obviously some issues around that. But at the end of the day, everybody, the board especially, recognized that something had to be done.”

As for regrets, Tuton says he could have been more balanced when he started the job.

“I’m a businessman myself and the role of the chair is you have to be a neutral person,” he said. “You can’t let one side or the other dominate the decisions and that’s always been difficult for me to try and maintain that fairness and evenness to all sides.”

“But I learned very early on that isn’t about a single issue or what I think. It’s really about what’s best for the health of the board.

“And if there was anything I’d be able to pass onto board members that would be it.”

There was nothing acrimonious about his departure.

“When I mentioned to staff that I was leaving, there was a moment there when I thought if I was doing the right thing because I really enjoyed every minute working with everyone,” he said.

“I left with a part of me that said this might not be the right time to go. But there never really is a right time, is there?”

Tuton was chair of the compensation board for a few years in the 1990s as well.

He’s also run campaigns for Premier Dennis Fentie and former federal Conservative candidate Darrell Pasloski.

And despite a territorial election sometime in the next year and a half, Tuton denied he was working to prep a campaign.

“There’s no hiding the fact that I’ve been involved for probably 30 years in about every election that’s been had,” he said. “But I don’t have any plans to get involved in any in the future.”

Asked if he was ruling out working on the campaign, he didn’t commit.

“No, I said I don’t have any plans to be involved,” he said. “It’s certainly not on my radar.”

Glenn Hart, the minister responsible for the board, is currently consulting with employers and worker organizations to find a new chair. Tuton will remain on the board until one is found.

Contact James Munson at jamesm@yukon-news.com

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