Labour Minister Harry Bains has appointed five members to WorkSafeBC's board of directors.
Ralph McGinn has been appointed as the new board chair for WorkSafeBC.
In addition to the new chair, Lee Loftus, Baltej Dhillon and Kay Teschke have been appointed as new board members effective immediately. Margaret McNeil, a current board member whose term ends Dec. 1, 2017, has been reappointed for two years.
As well, current members who will continue on the board are Lynn Bueckert, Brooks Patterson, Alan Cooke and Lillian White.
The appointments have been made following rigorous interviews and careful consideration of the experience and skills needed to deliver a new vision for British Columbia's workers' compensation system.
Bains thanked the outgoing board chair John Beckett and members Kevin Ramsay, Jim Cessford and Louise Yako for their years of service and for choosing to serve on the board.
The total number of board members has been maintained at nine, which includes the representation of workers, employers and the public interest, as well as professionals from a range of relevant fields including health care, occupational health and safety, and law enforcement.
Bains looks forward to working with the board of directors to make B.C.'s workplaces the safest in Canada.
Media RelationsMinistry of Labour
A correction has been made to the backgrounder
Ralph McGinn, four-year term appointment as board chair:
Ralph McGinn served as president and CEO of the Workers' Compensation Board of British Columbia (now WorkSafeBC) from 1998 to 2003. Prior to that, he was responsible for overseeing the revision of B.C.'s occupational health and safety (OHS) regulations, which came into effect in 1998. McGinn has also contributed to a wide range of policy and regulatory development for mining safety, health and environmental protection, including Australia, South American and Africa. McGinn is a professional engineer and has had senior roles with the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources, including chief inspector of mines from 1988 to 1993.
Baltej Dhillon, three-year term appointment as law enforcement professional:
Baltej Dhillon is a member of the RCMP and has served as a police officer for the past 27 years. In 2016, he became responsible for the force's Operational Readiness and Response program related to emergency response. He created the Sikh Leadership and Police Committee on Gang Violence and led the project for two years to fight against youth criminalization. He has served as an investigator on Air India task forces and the Pickton investigation. Dhillon received a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for community service in 2012 and a Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Award for community service in 2003.
In 1991, Dhillon became the first member of the RCMP permitted to wear a turban as part of his Sikh religion. His request that the RCMP change its uniform rules sparked a national debate about religious accommodation in Canada.
Lee Loftus, two-year term appointment as representative of the public interest:
Lee Loftus has served as business manager of the BC Insulators Union from 2008 to present, as well as from 1992 to 1999. He has been president of the BC Building Trades since 2009, and previously served on the board of governors for the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety Council. Loftus has a long history of serving on boards, associations, committees and councils. Highlights include Canadian Standards Association, Canadian Society of Safety Engineering, Insulation Industry Apprenticeship Board, Vancouver and District Metal Trades Council, as well as various WorkSafeBC committees.
Margaret McNeil, reappointed for a two-year term as health-care professional:
Margaret McNeil has served on WorkSafeBC's board of directors since 2014, and is the chief executive officer of Canuck Place Children's Hospice. Her extensive experience in leadership and management includes her former role as vice-president of operations at BC Housing, senior roles in the Vancouver Island Health Authority and the Ministry of Health, and work with the former Vancouver Health Department. She has extensive board experience in the non-profit sector and holds bachelor's and master's degrees in nursing. She also completed the executive program at Queen's University.
Kay Teschke, three-year term appointment as representative of the public interest:
Kay Teschke is a professor with the school of population and public health at the University of British Columbia. Her area of research interest covers environmental and occupational health. She received her academic training in environmental health at the British Columbia Institute of Technology, the University of California at Berkeley and the University of Washington in Seattle, and was a visiting scholar at the University of North Carolina school of public health.