Ontario nominates new WSIB Chairman and CEO

New chairman of the board, CEO will play key leadership roles in implementing important initiatives at the WSIB

Ontario nominates new WSIB Chairman and CEO

Ontario has nominated a chairman of the board and president and CEO for the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board, according to the government.

The government is pitting Grant Walsh as chair of the board of directors Walsh is a Board Member of the WSIB and was previously the Chairman of Canada Lands Company Limited, a self-financing federal Crown corporation specializing in real estate and development, and attractions management. He also served as the President and CEO of St. Peter’s Health System.

"It is a distinct honour to have been nominated to serve as the Chair of WSIB,” said Walsh. “I have committed to Premier Doug Ford and Minister Monte McNaughton to pursue excellence in service; support the enhancement of workplace safety; and, be an effective steward of financial resources. Service, safety, and stewardship are our corporate objectives."

Meanwhile, the government nominated Jeffery Lang as president and chief executive officer (CEO) of the agency.

Lang is currently a Board Member of the WSIB and CEO of a manufacturing company in Southwestern Ontario. He has extensive experience in employee benefits and pensions practices, as he previously served in a senior management role for one of the largest insurance broking firms in Canada. Among other things, Lang also previously served as a board member for Pathway Skills Development, a not-for-profit organization that offers programs and services to help employment seekers overcome challenges to employment.

“It is a privilege to be nominated to lead the WSIB at such a critical period in the organization’s history,” said Lang. “In the coming weeks and months, I look forward to hearing from and meeting with the workers and families who rely on us most, and the businesses we serve. I also welcome the opportunity to work with Minister McNaughton to drive change within the organization so we can deliver timely, efficient and reliable services for the workers and businesses in our great province.”

Monte McNaughton, minister of labour, training and skills development, thanked the outgoing leadership group and welcomed both Walsh and Lang.

"I want to thank outgoing Chair of the Board Elizabeth Witmer and outgoing interim President and CEO Tom Bell for completing their terms and for their outstanding leadership, which has improved the long-term financial sustainability of the WSIB,” he said. “I look forward to working with Mr. Walsh and Mr. Lang to ensure Ontario’s workers and businesses receive the level of support and service that they deserve."

Ontario is also nominating Peter George and Sandra Wrycraft to the board of directors for the WSIB.

In a December 2021 report, two advocates accused the WSIB of not taking the health and safety of workers seriously enough. They argue that, as a result, because of prolonged exposure to certain chemicals, we now have intense clusters of occupational diseases.

However, the WSIB said that in 2020, they allowed 23,000 occupational disease claims which made up over $87 million in benefits and support.

The WSIB has also established a Scientific Advisory Table on Occupational Disease as part of its broader Occupational Disease (OD) strategy.