Injured Workers Rights Threatened by Passage of Bill 127

May 17, 2017

The provincial government hastily passed Bill 127 today.  The Bill allows the WSIB to enact policies to create different adjudication principles and evidence requirements for different entitlements, while at the same time allowing for chronic mental stress entitlement and for increased compensation in several small respects.  The timing of this pre-election Bill, and the WSIB's decision to reduce employer assessments in 2017, suggest that any short-term advantage to injured workers will likely be more than offset by restrictive and discriminatory policies after the election.

The WSIB's 2017 Corporate Plan, available on its website, has a 3 year plan for employer assessments and worker benefits.  The plan calls for a 7.9% reduction in premium revenue between 2016 and 2019, a 60.7% growth in investment income during that same time and a 4.4% growth in benefits.  The investment income growth is unrealistic, as it has so often been.  What this means is that workers will likely bear the brunt of it, with employers getting all the benefit.  The changes in Bill 127 will provide legal authority for the Board to cut benefits when the investment income growth of over 60% does not materialize.