WSIB promises action on small business concerns

Elizabeth Witmer holds first of six roundtables with CFIB members

TORONTO, March 6, 2013 /CNW/ - The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) welcomes the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board's (WSIB) focus on reducing the burden of red tape on the province's small businesses.

Earlier this morning, Elizabeth Witmer, Chair of the WSIB, held a joint roundtable with the CFIB in Toronto to hear from employers on what they need and don't need from her agency to run their business. Earlier this year, Witmer agreed to meet with business owners across the province; today's roundtable is the first of six that will take place across the province this spring.

These roundtables were spurred, in part, by concern among business owners that their issues were not being addressed by the WSIB, including rising premiums on their payroll to fund the system. A recent CFIB report on workers' compensation systems found that Ontario scored the lowest in the country on long-term financial sustainability and customer service.

"Rising employer premiums and headaches that come from excessive WSIB regulations are making it harder for small employers to grow their business and create jobs," said CFIB's Ontario vice president Satinder Chera. "Thankfully, with new leadership at the WSIB, there finally seems to be a willingness to address these concerns."

A number of issues were discussed during the roundtable, including the WSIB's $14 unfunded liability, which is driving up premiums, and Bill 119, which imposed mandatory WSIB coverage on business owners and contractors in the construction industry in January.

"I am getting an earful from members who feel that law-abiding businesses are being punished because of a few rotten apples," added Chera. "CFIB looks forward to working with Elizabeth Witmer, who has a proven track record of helping small businesses, to address their concerns."

As Canada's largest association of small- and medium-sized businesses, CFIB is Powered by Entrepreneurs™. Established in 1971, CFIB takes direction from more than 109,000 members in every sector nationwide, giving independent business a strong and influential voice at all levels of government and helping to grow the economy.

SOURCE: CANADIAN FEDERATION OF INDEPENDENT BUSINESS

For further information:

Please call Eli Schuster at 416-222-8022 or public.affairs@cfib.ca.

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CANADIAN FEDERATION OF INDEPENDENT BUSINESS

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