The B.C. Conservative Party has announced their support of a full overhaul of the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC) in order to reduce insurance rates for BC drivers.
“ICBC needs a full overhaul,” said Scott Anderson, Interim Leader of the BC Conservatives. “The Liberals used it as a piggy bank and the NDP’s answer is to tinker with it, while keeping it tangled in a massive bureaucratic rat’s nest, still embedded in an archaic Crown Corporation. Nor has the NDP’s proposed new structure addressed the problem of government dipping that went on under the Liberals.”
B.C. drivers pay one of the highest insurance premiums in Canada.
“Knowing that the status quo is no longer acceptable, the NDP at least tried to bring rates in line with reality,” said Anderson. “But being the NDP, they couldn’t bring themselves to take the final, necessary step and allow the expert risk assessors in the private sector to determine realistic, viable insurance rates while opening ICBC to competition in order to keep rates as low as possible. Doing so would also help new drivers who are getting the short end of the stick under the proposed system.
The B.C. Conservatives plan to turn ICBC into a co-operative, ensuring that drivers who pay premiums will be the ones who own the organization. A co-operative will work in drivers’ best interest, rather than serving the government of the day. They also plan to open the industry to private competition, to help drive rates lower.
The province has a well established, profitable, strong, and well managed co-operative movement. B.C. is home to three of the five largest credit unions in Canada, plus a co-operative that is the largest supplier of outdoor equipment in Canada.
“We agree with the Canadian Taxpayers Federation that ICBC should be turned into a co-operative owned by BC drivers,” said Anderson. “Competition also must be opened up to private companies for basic insurance in order to reduce insurance rates for everyone.”
He believes that change needs to start now and that their platform best addresses the issue.
“The NDP built ICBC, the Liberals destroyed it, and now the NDP are trying to fix the sinking ship with skyrocketing insurance rates. A guaranteed way to ensure that BC drivers no longer pay the highest insurance rates in Canada is to turn ICBC into a co-op, then open up basic insurance to competition,” concluded Anderson.
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