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BC Federation of Retired Union
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BC FORUM News - From The Advocate, Winter, 2019

 

The BC Liberals’ endgame is to sell out public services

By David Black, MoveUP President

 

If you have noticed lately a concerted effort by the BC Liberals to push issues related to ICBC into the spotlight, you are not alone. If you have also noticed that their concerns related to the state of our public car insurance and those it affects in BC seem a little disingenuous, you are definitely not alone.

Before I get into that, however, let me start by saying that even with all the changes that have come in this year at ICBC – many of them positive, such as increases to our accident benefits and a wider range of recovery options, as well as being able to resolve smaller cases outside the courts so legal fees don’t pile up – we know the issue of premiums is still first and foremost for many. There is still more work to be done to stabilize ICBC so that rates can come down.

We are already seeing positive effects such as the ICBC being projected to turn a modest $86 million profit this year – just a year after losing $1.1 billion.

The work that Attorney General David Eby has done is nothing short of remarkable. But it’s only the beginning because, ultimately, no matter how great the turnaround is at ICBC, people will likely only judge it by the sticker price on their next renewal.

Which brings us back to the BC Liberals.

While over half of those who have renewed their insurance under the new system introduced in September have seen decreases, the party whose actions debilitated the public insurer in the first place continues to run their campaign of deceit and duplicity.

Let’s review. The BC Liberals:

• Enacted a rule forcing ICBC to separate payouts for basic and optional insurance. Insurance premiums increased as a result.

• Siphoned $1.2 billion from ICBC. Insurance premiums increased as a result.

• Ignored warnings signs from an independent Ernst & Young report, and deliberately hid recommendations from the public. Insurance premiums increased as a result.

• Projected an $11 million loss at ICBC the year they left office. The actual figure discovered later was $1.3 billion.

Are there still issues to address at ICBC, such as rates for young drivers? Absolutely.

But it seems highly hypocritical for the BC Liberals to feign concern about affordability for young drivers on the one hand, entirely ignoring the fact young drivers have historically paid significantly more in private insurance jurisdictions but, on the other hand, will be vehemently against ending interest on student loans which significantly affects affordability for younger people much more.

In the end, we all know what the endgame is for the BC Liberals.

By inciting discord and anger among the public, they want to create enough sentiment to give them reason to sell out yet another public service to private interests. We’ve gone down that road before, and we’ve all paid more because of it.

Let’s stop buying the BC Liberals’ bunk and learn from history.

 

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