NORTH VANCOUVER, FEBRUARY 7, 2018 – British Columbians face some of the highest premiums for auto insurance in the country. Despite this, ICBC suffers from staggering financial losses which will ultimately fall on the shoulders of BC drivers and taxpayers.
ICBC’s insurance business is a Frankenstein that combines the worst parts of public and private sector organizations: in good times profits can be pilfered by governments to balance their books. In bad times ratepayers have to pick up the tab with higher premiums. Given the level of financial mismanagement uncovered in the recent Auditor General’s report, it looks like there are more bad times ahead. ICBC has warned they could raise their rates by more than 40% over the next 5 years. It is no wonder that 78% of British Columbians favour more competition and consumer choice in car insurance.
The BC Libertarian Party proposes a simple measure to put a stop to these runaway costs, one used successfully in most other sectors: competition. A new policy document released by the Party this week reveals a plan to allow private alternatives for basic and optional insurance, while converting ICBC’s remaining insurance services into a co-operative owned and run by BC drivers.
“These changes will allow a competitive insurance market to flourish in British Columbia,” according to the policy document. “Drivers will have real choice and accountability, resulting in a higher quality product at a lower cost.”
This Saturday (Feb 10th) Party Leader Clayton Welwood will join a group of concerned citizens rallying outside of ICBC’s head office in North Vancouver with a simple message: end ICBC. The rally will begin at 12:30.
The party has also endorsed a candidate for MLA in the Kelowna West by-election set for February 14th, 2018: Kyle Geronazzo. Geronazzo has committed to ending the public insurer’s monopoly on auto insurance. Geronazzo and the party have made public their views with a massive billboard along the highway into Kelowna that calls for the end of ICBC. “Let’s retire the old top-down approach and give bottom-up governance a shot,” says Geronazzo.
Regarding Geronazzo’s campaign, Welwood says, “It’s time to scrap ICBC’s monopoly and give BC drivers full choice in auto insurance. A vote for Kyle Geronazzo for MLA, Kelowna-West in the by-election will send that message to Victoria.”
The Libertarian Party of BC is a registered political party under the Elections Act. It is an active participant in elections, having run 30 candidates in the 2017 election – the fourth highest total among BC parties. The party is committed to providing British Columbians with more choice in the delivery of services, lower taxes and real freedom for the individual to pursue any non-violent way of life.
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