Fonds 352 - Northwest Territories. Workers' Compensation Board fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Northwest Territories. Workers' Compensation Board fonds

General material designation

  • Multiple media

Parallel title

Other title information

Title statements of responsibility

Title notes

Level of description


Reference code


Edition area

Edition statement

Edition statement of responsibility

Class of material specific details area

Statement of scale (cartographic)

Statement of projection (cartographic)

Statement of coordinates (cartographic)

Statement of scale (architectural)

Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area


  • 1966-2008, chiefly 1977-2006 (Creation)
    Northwest Territories. Workers' Compensation Board (1977-2008)

Physical description area

Physical description

7.82 m of textual records and other material

Publisher's series area

Title proper of publisher's series

Parallel titles of publisher's series

Other title information of publisher's series

Statement of responsibility relating to publisher's series

Numbering within publisher's series

Note on publisher's series

Archival description area

Name of creator

Administrative history

The Workers' Compensation Board (WCB) was established under the Workers' Compensation Ordinance in 1977. The Worker's Compensation Act ultimately replaced the Ordinance in the mid-1980s. The purpose of the Worker's Compensation Act is to provide a method of compensating workers for wage losses due to accidents occurring during the course of employment. The Act places the adjudication of claims in the hands of the Workers' Compensation Board instead of the courts and makes the employer's liability collective instead of individual.

The Board operates with funds raised through assessments levied on employers in the Northwest Territories on the basis of a percentage of the payrolls in order to meet all claims payable during the year, including administrative costs. The assessments are also used to provide for payment of liabilities in respect of future compensation or accidents, which have or may occur and to establish reserves for employers. The WCB does not receive any funding through annual appropriation approved by the Legislative Assembly. This results in a more autonomous operation than would otherwise exist, with internal financial decisions being make by the Workers' Compensation Board. Annually the WCB submits its proposal for the Year's Maximum Assessable Remuneration (YMAR) to the Legislative Assembly for approval. The YMAR determines the upper limits upon which employers' assessments and claimants' benefits are based. Rates are adjusted as required by the WCB. These funds are used to provide compensation to workers who are injured on the job or who contract an occupational disease.

The Workers Compensation Board is unique among the Boards and Agencies created by territorial legislation. It has exclusive jurisdiction in all matters affecting compensation for workers injured on the job. Compensation includes the payment of medical expenses and the provision of medical and vocational rehabilitation. It also includes payment for loss of wages resulting from injury or occupational disease, pensions for workers who suffer permanent disability and pensions for dependents of workers killed in accidents. The Workers' Compensation Board is appointed by the Legislative Assembly and reports to the Legislative Assembly through the Minister responsible for the Workers' Compensation Board. In addition to a Chairman, there are a fluctuating number of Board members. The management and staff of the WCB have the responsibility for providing a service to those involved in work related injuries and to employers. Their responsibilities include: adjudication of claims, administration of pensions, arrangement of rehabilitation programs, determination of and collection of insurance premiums from employers and management of the financial resources to assure that future costs related to past claims are fully funded.

From its inception the Workers' Compensation Board has undergone a series of legislative and operational reviews, which has resulted in amendments to its legislation and changes in policy. A Task Force was established in 1981 to study the operations of the WCB, the future developments of workers' compensation in the Northwest Territories and review how workers' compensation was practiced in other jurisdictions. A report was submitted and recommendations were made which facilitated changes to the Worker's Compensation Ordinance. A merit rebate plan, which was a type of assessment rebate program for employers, was also established at this time. The program was designed to encourage safety and reduce injury costs.

In 1983, the Board expanded its safety incentive program that provided dividends to employers with good safety records and levied additional assessments on employers with poor safety records. The Board also worked with St. John Ambulance in order to provide first aid training to workers, particularly workers in high-risk occupations such as construction and resource related industry. In 1984, the Board introduced a public information program to advise all registered hunters and trappers in the Northwest Territories that they were eligible for WCB coverage. Literature was sent to all communities and personal visits were made to some of the settlements in the Keewatin, Kitikmeot and Baffin regions. In 1986, a review committee was appointed to recommend changes to the Workers' Compensation Act (formerly the Workers' Compensation Ordinance) and these changes, which were approved by the Legislative Assembly, came into affect on January 1st, 1987. The Year's Maximum Insurable Remuneration (YMIR) was increased at this time and the basis for calculating disability benefits also increased. The increased YMIR was intended to ensure that eight out of ten workers in the Northwest Territories would have their full earnings covered for compensation during 1987. Dependents of workers killed in accidents after January 1, would also receive improved benefits as a result of the YMIR increase. Due to the high cost of administering workers' compensation in the Northwest Territories, the Board also commissioned a national firm of consultants to do a review of the systems and procedures and recommend changes in order to reduce costs. In addition, the report of a committee appointed to review the Workers' Compensation Act was tabled in the Legislative Assembly. Some of the committee's recommendations had already been dealt with, such as the provision of covering registered hunters and trappers, however, the revised Workers' Compensation Act was expected to come into force in 1988.

In 1989, a ministerial review panel was appointed to carry out a review of the Board's operation and responsibilities. The panel's report which was released in April 1989 contained a list of recommendations such as development of new terms of reference for all committees; in-depth actuarial and investment reviews; development of a new strategic plan; expansion of the rehabilitation program; review and updating of Board policies; appointment of four commissioners to the claim review committee; establishment of a Workers' advisor position; rewriting the Worker's Compensation Act; establishment of a new rate setting process and preparation of a Board of Directors Manual.

On April 1, 2008, both the NWT Workers’ Compensation Act and Nunavut Workers’ Compensation Act changed to create the amalgamated Workers’ Safety and Compensation Commission of the Northwest Territories and Nunavut.

Custodial history

Scope and content

The records from the Corporate Service Division and Governance Council/Executive Services are comprised of minutes, agendas and reports from the Executive Committee, Management Group, Investment Committee, Legislative Review Committee, Audit Committee, Senior Management Committee, Leadership Committee, Major Stakeholders, Occupational Health and Safety Committee, Planning Committee, Northern Options Committee, Policy Review Committee and Operations Committee, and meetings with the Minister and Joint Ministers. Records also include some incoming and outgoing correspondence of the President and Minister Responsible, briefing notes, an Information Systems strategic plan for 2002-2004, and a file relating to the legal action taken by the families of workers who died in the 1992 Giant Mine explosion. In addition, there are records of meetings of the Board of Directors and its successor the Governance Council, as well as their subcommittees.

There are also records from the Policy, Planning & Evaluation and Communications & Information divisions, including communications strategies, program evaluation and organizational review files, action plans, Public Image Committee files, promotional materials, stakeholder relations plans, reports on proposed programs and assessment rates, copies of the "Reflections" publication, board directives, and correspondence regarding board appointments. There are also records regarding the planning and organization of events held by the Workers' Compensation Board to promote and educate the public on workplace safety. Records also include Corporate Plans (2004-2006, 2006-2008) and Annual Reports, which include an incomplete set of annual reports from the Workmen's Compensation Administration, the predecessor of the Workers' Compensation Board.

Records from the Legal Services division include files related to the Workers' Compensation Board Review Panel; legislative reviews of the Workers' Compensation Act, as well as its related ordinance and regulations; a WCB legislative proposal related to the Years Maximum Insurable Remuneration (YMIR); development of regulations for the Assessment Division; and files tracking Mine Health and Safety Act mandated inspector appointments. Records also relate to the Joint Mine Occupational Health and Safety Legislation Committee, the operation of the Renewable Resource Harvester Program, and the Operational Health and Safety amalgamation with WCB (1996). The records also include Board meeting minutes from November 17-20, 1992 on cassette tape and a ministerial discussion paper.

Records relating to the NWT Regional Operations Mine Inspector's office include mine inspector reports and incident/accident reports for mines in the Yellowknife area. There are eight brochures and pamphlets on programs and information from 1982-1984, covering information on workers' compensation for employees, employers and hunters and trappers; first aid training and a safety incentive program. There are copies of the Mine Rescue Review newsletter produced by the Workers' Compensation Board as well.

From the Prevention Services division, there are records regarding safety education and safety education program evaluation, as well as reports detailing divisional objectives, program evaluation files for the Safety Incentive and Rate Reduction Program (SIRR), and investigation reports on fatalities.

Records also include the results of a Client Services Delivery audit; review and evaluation of the SIRR (Safety Incentive Rate Reduction Program); a Final Report on the WCB by the Chief Commissioner; a report on injured workers that was prepared by Avery Cooper; strategic planning and corporate planning material; program reviews; a copy of an operational review of the WCB; records on the Workers' Compensation Board Safety Education program; a policy issue file on pre-1977 pensions; records on proposed and actual changes to the WCB as a result of division between Nunavut and the Northwest Territories; and records relating to the amalgamation of Occupational Health and Safety from the Department of Safety and Public Services with the WCB.

Notes area

Physical condition


Language of material

  • English

Script of material

  • Latin

Location of originals

Availability of other formats

Restrictions on access

Access restricted under the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Finding aids

File lists available. AIMS records.

Associated materials

Related materials



Copyright held by the Government of the Northwest Territories.

Physical description

7.81 m of textual records and other material
10 audio cassettes
1 videocassette : Hi8
4 floppy disk
1 CD
2 CDs
photographs and negatives

Alternative identifier(s)

Standard number

Standard number

Access points

Subject access points

Place access points

Name access points

Genre access points

Control area

Description record identifier

Institution identifier

Rules or conventions

Language of description

  • English

Script of description


    Acquisition area