EDITORIAL: B.C.’s Liberals mishandle ICBC

There are 32 per cent more managers than in 2007 at the corporation

The Liberals have completely mishandled ICBC, and the proof came on Thursday, when a review showed the company has been hiring boatloads of senior managers and paying them more each year — with the government apparently oblivious to this fact.

There are 32 per cent more managers than in 2007, and they are paid (as a group) 70 per cent more than managers received in 2007. Fifty-four of them made more than $200,000 each in 2011.

The Liberals insisted, on taking office in 2001, that ICBC didn’t need to be privatized, nor did there need to be complete competition in the auto insurance sector. They merged ICBC operations with the motor vehicle branch, and had ICBC contribute to policing initiatives, and thus thoroughly muddled it with legitimate government activities. This has made it very difficult to unwind ICBC, the insurance company, from ICBC, the public policy arm.

They have also insisted, especially in recent years, that substantial dividends from ICBC go back to the shareholder — the government. This means that all ICBC customers, and that’s everyone who owns a vehicle, are paying additional insurance premiums to boost government revenues. This is not a commercial transaction — it’s a tax grab, hidden in the guise of insurance costs.

The government has now, very belatedly, said ICBC meeds to cut its management costs and manager compensation. This comes just after ICBC has boosted insurance rates by 11.2 per cent.

Government mismanagement at its finest.

– Langley Times