The panel made 60 recommendations, 27 of which would require amending laws or provincial regulations. The changes would help the board put people before policies, the panel said in an executive summary. Most injury claims are handled smoothly and quickly, the panel said. When they aren’t, it’s a boondoggle. “Indeed, the biggest failing of the system right now is not the level of benefits it provides, but how its overall decision-making impacts the lives and livelihoods of workers and employers,” the panellists said. Reforms to the system are long overdue, said Alberta Federation of Labour president Gil McGowan. He was disappointed that the panel said it lacked the time or expertise to make recommendations about how the board sets premium rates for employers. At an average of $1.02 per $100 on the payroll, Alberta’s rates are the lowest in the country. “The result is that we have an overly bureaucratic system that all too often denies injured Albertans the help and support they need,” McGowan said.

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