August 14, 2020

The BC Building Trades congratulates Jeff Parr on his appointment as chair of the WorkSafeBC board of directors.

Parr replaces Ralph McGinn, who passed away suddenly in May.

“Jeff Parr is a proven leader and he demonstrated that recently during the consultation process that ultimately led to the modernizing of the Workers Compensation Act,” said BC Building Trades executive director Andrew Mercier.

Parr delivered a consultation report on potential amendments to the Workers Compensation Act in February. He conducted targeted stakeholder consultations with employers, labour and Indigenous organizations.

Parr considered the effects on injured workers and their families, the stability and sustainability of the workers compensation system, the effects of premium rates, and comparisons with other jurisdictions in Canada.

Ultimately, the changes he recommended were aimed at “making the workers’ compensation system more worker-centric while retaining the confidence of workers and employers.”

Among Parr’s recommendations were amendments to allow search and seizure powers appropriate for investigation purposes, allowing courts to consider victim impact statements at sentencing, increasing the maximum insurable earnings to $100,000 per year, and giving WorkSafeBC authority to determine retirement age of an inured worker.

He also recommended improving the ability of WorkSafeBC to secure funds owed by delinquent employers and paying health care expenses before a claim is accepted in cases where timely treatment is likely to lessen more serious harm or disability.

“We look forward to working with Parr and we also wish to thank Lee Loftus, a former president of the BC Building Trades, for stepping in as board chair in the interim,” said Mercier.