WCB puts small Business out of Business.

I was thrilled to read Micah Hoeschele’s letter  on the opinion page of the Feb. 27th Star concerning  the Yukon worker’s compensation board. I have a story to tell about the arrogant people at our lovely workers compensation board ( you know, the ones behind the bullet proof glass).
My plight began in March of 2014, with a phone call from a client I had done work  for in Dawson City, renovating a cabin the previous summer. He informed me he had just received a bill in excess of $3000.00 for WCB coverage that I had neglected to have. I was shocked!! In the past, I had had employees and paid $6/$100 for them and $150 optional coverage for myself. This particular job, I had no employees, and when I discovered I had neglected to pay the $150 optional coverage, I figured what’s the worst that can happen, I’ll get a bill for a couple hundred maybe? WRONG!!! They bill your client, and apparently he is deemed negligent since he did not ask me if I had coverage, so according to WCB, it’s not my problem, my client must pay.  I guess government monopolies can operate this way, but it was my mistake so I felt obligated to pay him back . This is not the end of story, nooo, it is only the beginning!!, it is now time to get covered for the upcoming construction season of 2014.
Since my previous client is a business, they are obligated to inform WCB of any subcontractors they had employed and for how much, so now WCB has an idea of my income the previous year.  Apparently (according to WCB Service Advisers) in the spring of 2014 all sole proprietors in the Yukon must now insure themselves for their previous years income.  My rate suddenly went from $150.00 per year (optional coverage) to well over $3000.00. NO WARNING, NO LETTER, NO NEWS RELEASE. WHO DECIDED THIS? THIS IS OUR NEW POLICY! I was shocked, this didn’t get included in the bids I made for the upcoming season, other contractors I knew were not required to insure themselves for their full income ,what gives?? Why can’t I just get private disability insurance, covered 24/7 work or play ,same price or cheaper??  Ann Marie Stockley , my employee service adviser assured me that they were cross-referencing Revenue Canada records as we speak  (Ya right, Bullshit) and that all sole proprietors would be insuring themselves for last years total income before years end. WELL, what a surprise that didn’t happen, as a matter of fact the 2015 assessment invoices are out and guess what, sole proprietors that are just renewing their policy still insure themselves for far less than their yearly income.  I decided I had enough of these people and their lies, and decided to work for wages instead, I will probably be much healthier and safer with a much lower stress level! Unfortunately safety, has become an industry in the Yukon, and it is all about making a buck, a few years ago high visibility clothing took up a small section of Work Wear World, now it takes up the whole back wall!
A year ago I brought this topic up my Marsh Lake MLA, Mr. Kevin Barr, stressing to him that I could not compete with other contractors if all sole proprietors are not required to play by the same rules.  NOTHING REALLY CAME OF IT. I am glad to hear that people are finally voicing their concerns about this monopoly of an insurance company.  It’s the employers of the Yukon paying for this atrocity, why are all your heads in the sand, it’s time to stand up to these people and say enough is enough.
As Micah mentioned in Fridays opinion page, where do they come up with these ridiculous slogans. Remember this one  “ALL ACCIDENTS ARE PREVENTABLE”  , or how about this one “OUR GOAL  ZERO ACCIDENTS “. I guess they don’t expect to really reach their goal, as apparently an addition is required on their office!!!.
Concerned business owner
Yukon Territory

border

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