Our View: ICBC badly in need of a repair job

The government is creeping towards major changes on the ailing insurer.

If the new NDP government (with a scattering of Greens) wants to do something to prove itself, repairing ICBC would be the best start.

It was the NDP that created ICBC in the first place, back in the 1970s. There have been calls to return to private insurance for years, but somehow successive Social Credit and Liberal governments never quite got around to it.

In the case of the Liberals, it was likely because ICBC was too tempting a target for cash. They sucked out hundreds of millions of dollars over the years, which is one cause of the current $1.3 billion deficit. When the attorney general, David Eby, comes out and calls the situation a dumpster fire, things are pretty bad.

Yet Eby hasn’t pulled out the big guns yet. He’s neither rushing headlong into privatized insurance, nor is he slapping on regulations that would limit injury and damage claims by accident victims.

The former course – privatization – would be anathema to a lot of core NDP supporters. And it would create a giant headache as the government had to unwind its driver licensing system from the public insurer.

Eby is looking at capping claims on minor injuires, something five other provinces have done so far.

Limiting all injury claims would anger an extremely dangerous group – lawyers.

If the province wants to keep funding ICBC, perhaps it should levy a new fee on the agency’s best customers. No, not drivers. It could levy increasing costs on the lawyers who have, year after year, driven up the injury claims and amounts in this province.

– M.C.

Just Posted

Langley actors up for challenge of period romance

Two TWU students learn how much they have in common with each other and their characters.

VIDEO: This is what buying legal pot in B.C. looks like

Take a look inside B.C.’s first and only legal pot shop located in Kamloops

ELECTION: Langley Township council candidate Michael Pratt

A Voter’s Guide to key election questions.

VIDEO: Fire crew mopping up workshop fire near Golden Ears Bridge

Structure fire at 208 and 102B sending plumes of black smoke into air above Walnut Grove

WHAT’S IN STORE: Amazed by Langley’s generosity

Keep sharing information about what your business or store is doing to help people in the community.

Mellow opening to B.C.’s only legal pot shop

About five people lined up early for the opening of the BC Cannabis Store in Kamloops.

Jagmeet Singh says marijuana pardons are not enough

Trudeau government will streamline pardon process for Canadians convicted of simple possession of marijuana in the past

BC Ferries begins taking debit in two-month pilot project

Company is giving customers option to use Interac on two-month trial on select vessels

Caregivers banned from smoking, growing cannabis around children-in-care: MCFD

Ministry has limited cannabis use for caregivers, stating it may “pose a risk to children and youth.”

Cheaper strains sell out within minutes on online BC Cannabis Store

Province says new strains will become available in the coming months

Only 40% of B.C. car dealerships have electric cars available: report

Researchers found buyers frustrated at the lack of options

VIDEO: Millionaire Lottery returns to give back and win big

Since 1996, Millionaire Lottery has raised $52 million for the VGH+UBC Hospital Foundation

Test case challenges a politician’s right to block people from Twitter account

3 people say Watson infringed their constitutional right to freedom of expression by blocking them

Most Read