Guy Kerr cannot be blamed for the tragic wrong turn the Alberta Workers Compensation Board took nearly 30 years ago under the Conservative governments of premiers Don Getty and Ralph Klein.
Under those premiers, Alberta’s effective workers’ compensation system was subverted and undermined. The victims have been injured workers.
By the time Mr. Kerr was hired in 2002 to lead the WCB, the provincial worker-insurance agency was already far down the winding path toward a corporate model that eroded the fundamental principles on which the workers’ compensation system is based.
By all accounts, as president and CEO of the WCB, the former chief executive of IBM’s Payment Systems Corp. was a highly capable manager, dedicated to the not-for-profit, employer-funded, independent organization set up to provide insurance to workers who are injured on the job.
His controversial salary of nearly $900,000 a year reflected the attitudes of past Conservative governments about appropriate compensation for corporate executives, even when they are in what should be seen as public service roles.
Speculation is bound to focus on the big pay cut the NDP Government of Premier Rachel Notley earlier this year delivered Mr. Kerr and other executives of 23 government boards, agencies and commissions as the reason…