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


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

Just Posted

Abigail Jirousek, left, is tailed by Brian Horton while climbing a hill during the Cross Country Yukon January Classic in Whitehorse on Jan. 23. Jirousek finished second in the U16 girls category. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Cross Country Yukon hosts classic race

Cross Country Yukon hosted a classic technique cross-country ski race on Jan.… Continue reading

Yukon Premier Sandy Silver talks to media on March 5, 2020. The Yukon government said Jan. 25 that it is disappointed in a decision by the federal government to send the Kudz Ze Kayah mining project back to the drawing board. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Territorial and federal governments at odds over Kudz Ze Kayah mine project

The federal government, backed by Liard First Nation, sent the proposal back to the screening stage


Wyatt’s World for Jan. 27, 2021

An avalanche warning sigh along the South Klondike Highway. Local avalanche safety instructors say interest in courses has risen during the pandemic as more Yukoners explore socially distanced outdoor activities. (Tom Patrick/Yukon News file)
Backcountry busy: COVID-19 has Yukoners heading for the hills

Stable conditions for avalanches have provided a grace period for backcountry newcomers

An arrest warrant has been issued for a 22-year-old man facing two tickets violating the <em>Civil Emergency Measures Act</em>. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
Arrest warrant issued for CEMA violation

An arrest warrant has been issued for Ansh Dhawan over two tickets for violating CEMA

The office space at 151 Industrial Road in Marwell. At Whitehorse city council’s Jan. 25 meeting, members voted to sign off on the conditional use approval so Unit 6 at 151 Industrial Rd. can be used for office space. (John Hopkins-Hill/Yukon News file)
Marwell move set for land and building services staff

Conditional use, lease approved for office space

The bus stop at the corner of Industrial and Jasper Road in Whitehorse on Jan. 25. The stop will be moved approximately 80 metres closer to Quartz Road. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
UPDATED: Industrial Road bus stop to be relocated

The city has postponed the move indefinitely

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police detachment in Faro photgraphed in 2016. Faro will receive a new RCMP detachment in 2022, replacing the decades-old building currently accommodating officers. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
Faro RCMP tagged for new detachment

Faro will receive a new RCMP detachment in 2022, replacing the decades-old… Continue reading

In a Jan. 18 announcement, the Yukon government said the shingles vaccine is now being publicly funded for Yukoners between age 65 and 70, while the HPV vaccine program has been expanded to all Yukoners up to and including age 26. (1213rf.com)
Changes made to shingles, HPV vaccine programs

Pharmacists in the Yukon can now provide the shingles vaccine and the… Continue reading

Parking attendant Const. Ouellet puts a parking ticket on the windshield of a vehicle in downtown Whitehorse on Dec. 6, 2018. The City of Whitehorse is hoping to write of nearly $300,000 in outstanding fees, bylaw fines and court fees, $20,225 of which is attributed to parking fines issued to non-Yukon license plates. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
City of Whitehorse could write off nearly $300,000

The City of Whitehorse could write off $294,345 in outstanding fees, bylaw… Continue reading

Grants available to address gender-based violence

Organizations could receive up to $200,000

In this illustration, artist-journalist Charles Fripp reveals the human side of tragedy on the Stikine trail to the Klondike in 1898. A man chases his partner around the tent with an axe, while a third man follows, attempting to intervene. (The Daily Graphic/July 27, 1898)
History Hunter: Charles Fripp — gold rush artist

The Alaskan coastal town of Wrangell was ill-equipped for the tide of… Continue reading

Most Read