WCB rates to drop for many Yukon businesses

Most Yukon businesses will pay less to the Yukon Workers' Compensation Health and Safety Board in 20.11 Rates have dropped for nine in 10 employers. The average business will see its rates drop by nearly 16 per cent, to $2.

Most Yukon businesses will pay less to the Yukon Workers’ Compensation Health and Safety Board in 2011.

Rates have dropped for nine in 10 employers. The average business will see its rates drop by nearly 16 per cent, to $2.49 in 2011 from $2.95 in 2010.

The exception to this downward trend is the mining industry. More exploration work means more accidents. And that’s led rates to rise, to $6.39 from $6.02.

Bridge builders and road makers, meanwhile, have been rewarded with a lower-paying classification for low injury rates, resulting in a rate drop to $4.96 from $5.51.

“They’re finally seeing the fruits of their labour,” said Valerie Royle, the board’s president and CEO.

It’s the second year that rates have dropped for most businesses.

“We’re still high compared to the rest of Canada, but we’re moving in the right direction,” said Rick Karp, president of the Whitehorse Chamber of Commerce. “That’s really fantastic.”

This praise shows how much has changed over the past year. Last autumn, businesses were calling for the compensation board to lower its rates at any cost – including breaking apart the board and merging it with its counterpart in British Columbia.

Yukon’s board has responded by trimming its staff. To wit: there’s now no longer a front desk receptionist. Those duties are now shared by several workers near the front of the building.

The board employs fewer policy wonks than it did, although it has hired more inspectors.

Its number of employees is expected to shrink to 69 in 2012, from 75 in 2007, said Royle.

The board has trimmed other costs. It contracts a languages services firm in British Columbia, rather than hire local translators. Doctors use software, rather than typists, to transcribe reports.

And the board has saved money by using the same accounting firm as the WCBs of Nunavut and the Northwest Territories. “Our contract was probably one-quarter of what they paid,” said Royle. “Where we can be efficient, we are.”

As a result, administrative costs within rates have dropped, on average, to $1.10 from $1.15.

Next year’s rates also fix several inequities in the previous groupings of companies.

Haircutters last year saw their rates rise, despite nary an accident in their field for more than a decade, because they were lumped in with other “miscellaneous” businesses.

They’ve now been lumped together with retailers, resulting in a big rate drop, to $1.83 from $3.38.

Contact John Thompson at


Just Posted

Whether the dust jacket of this historical novel is the Canadian version (left) or the American (right), the readable content within is the same. (Michael Gates)
History Hunter: New novel a gripping account of the gold rush

Stampede: Gold Fever and Disaster in the Klondike is an ‘enjoyable and readable’ account of history


Wyatt’s World for May 14, 2021.… Continue reading

Copies of the revised 2021-22 budget documents tabled in the legislature on May 14. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Liberals introduce new budget with universal dental and safe supply funding

The new items were added to secure the support of the NDP.

Community Services Minister Richard Mostyn speaks to reporters on May 13. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Cap on rent increases will take effect May 15

The rollout of the policy is creating ‘chaos,’ says opposition

Yukon News file
A 21-year-old man is in custody after a stabbing in Porter Creek on May 14.
One man in hospital, another in custody, after alleged stabbing in Porter Creek

A police dog was used to track the suspect who was later arrested in a wooded area.

Safe at home office in Whitehorse on May 10, 2021. (John Tonin/Yukon News)
Federal government provides $1.6 million for Yukon anti-homelessness work

Projects including five mobile homes for small communities received funding.

Drilling at Northern Tiger’s 3Ace gold project in 2011. Randi Newton argues that mining in the territory can be reshaped. (Yukon government/file)
Editorial: There’s momentum for mining reform

CPAWS’ Randi Newton argues that the territory’s mining legislations need a substantial overhaul

At its May 10 meeting, Whitehorse city council approved the subdivision for the Kwanlin Dün First Nation’s business park planned in Marwell. (Submitted)
KDFN business park subdivision approved

Will mean more commercial industrial land available in Whitehorse

Main Street in Whitehorse on May 4. Whitehorse city council has passed the first two readings of a bylaw to allow pop-up patios in city parking spaces. Third reading will come forward later in May. (Stephanie Waddell/Yukon News)
Whitehorse council pursuing restaurant patio possibilities

Council passes first two readings for new patio bylaw

Neil Hartling, the Tourism Industry Association of the Yukon president, left, said the new self-isolation guidelines for the Yukon are a ‘ray of hope’ for tourism operators. (Ian Stewart/Yukon News file)
Yukon tourism operators prepared for ‘very poor summer’ even with relaxed border rules

Toursim industry responds to new guidelines allowing fully vaccinated individuals to skip mandatory self-isolation.

A lawsuit has been filed detailing the resignation of a former Yukon government mine engineer. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
A year after resigning, former chief mine engineer sues Yukon government

Paul Christman alleges a hostile work environment and circumvention of his authority led him to quit

Former Liberal MLA Pauline Frost speaks to reporters outside the courthouse on April 19. One of the voters accused of casting an invalid vote has been granted intervenor status in the lawsuit Frost filed last month. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Voters named in Pauline Frost election lawsuit ask to join court proceedings

The judge granted Christopher Schafer intervenor status

Most Read