As Jill Hutcheon, current President and CEO of the WSIB, prepares to hand over the reins in January 2010, one thing is clear. Her successor will have a lot of work to do.
Pending approval by the Standing Committee on Government Agencies, the job will be given to respected former international banker, diplomat and senior Canadian government executive, David Marshall.
Marshall will take over at a very difficult time for the organization. The Workplace Safety and Insurance Board is having financial problems and continues to have trouble meeting its obligations. In its annual report issued on December 7th, the provincial Auditor-General noted that the WSIB’s “unfunded liability” – the difference between its assets and what is needed to satisfy the estimated lifetime costs of all claims – has ballooned to $11.5 billion. And the target date for eliminating the liability has now been pushed back from 2014 to as long away as 2022.
Insurance plans for injured workers faced similar problems in other provinces. But the Auditor-General found that Ontario’s plan has both a larger unfunded liability and higher premiums than plans in other large provinces.
The decision to hire a new President and CEO is in no way related to the release of the Auditor General’s report. Jill Hutcheon’s retirement was announced in January 2009.