An article in the May 10 th issue of the Toronto Star reported on budget cuts to the Ministry of Labour’s Prevention Office. The article reported the following:
  • The Ministry of Labour’s Prevention Office is funded from WSIB premiums paid by Ontario employers that are obliged by law to participate in the province’s workers compensation system; it is not funded from the general revenues of the province that are derived from the province’s taxpayers
  • The Prevention Office’s budget was cut by $16M or 13.5% from $119M in 2018 to $103M
  • Health and Safety Associations (HSAs) will see a total reduction of $12M
  • Research funding will be cut from $8.5M in 2018 to $6.8M this year
  • The government states that the cuts were made following a comprehensive review of all programs and will result in improved efficiencies and better value for money
It is our understanding that:
  • The Infrastructure Health and Safety Association, which serves the construction, utilities and transportation sectors, has a budget of approximately $23+M
  • The IHSA’s budget has been flatlined since 2009 and was subject to a 5% cut in 2015
  • The IHSA’s budget was cut by $1.3M in December 2018
  • The IHSA will be funded at 2018 level for the first half of 2019
  • The IHSA and the Workplace Safety and Prevention Services (WSPS), the two largest HSAs, are believed to account for approximately $10M of the cuts
  • The IHSA has reserves derived from accumulated surpluses in previous years
  • The IHSA will be allowed to use those surpluses to maintain operations in the last half of the year so we don’t expect changes to service levels
  • What will happen to funding for next year when the IHSA’s surpluses have been used up is not known; that could be when the real crunch from these announced cuts is felt