Workers' compensation insurance premiums for many businesses in the Northwest Territories and Nunavut are on their way down, WCB president John Doyle says.
The Workers' Compensation Board rates for the two territories are already about 15 per cent below the rest of Canada, he says.
Beginning in 2007, new rates will see the mining industry pay 20 per cent less, the construction industry eight per cent less and the air transportation industry 18 per cent less.
Doyle says good investments by the board and a reduction of claims are behind the drop.
"We've seen a reduction in claims costs over the last couple years, mostly related to the duration of claims the length of time before people return to work or they receive a permanent pension," Doyle said.
However Yellowknife Range Lake MLA Sandy Lee says the reduction is a result of the board denying legitimate claims by injured workers.
"I have a real problem with the way the WCB has used public funds, which they get from ratepayers, to obstruct or to diffuse and to avoid following up or dealing with court decisions," Lee said.
"We've had decisions from the Supreme Court of the N.W.T. and the Supreme Court of Canada that the way they deal with chronic pain cases is unconstitutional."
Organized labour says instead of cutting rates, the board should use the extra money for training and education to reduce injuries in the future.