Rising accident claims and associated court costs have added to billion-dollar deficits at ICBC. (Penticton Western News)

ICBC surpluses should be hands-off to politicians, David Eby says

NDP to make taking profit from optional car insurance illegal

With the Insurance Corp. of B.C. projected to get back in the black this year, the B.C. government is moving to end the practice of transferring surplus funds to help the province’s overall bottom line.

Attorney General David Eby said Monday he is introducing legislation this week to make it illegal to direct ICBC to turn over excess revenues. That would mean a future government would need a majority vote in the B.C. legislature to change the law before doing it again.

The previous B.C. Liberal government last took what was called a “dividend to shareholders” in 2015, transferring $138 million from the Crown corporation for what was then a surplus budget. The annual transfers were as high as $576 million in 2009-10, diminishing in the following years as ICBC’s costs and claims began rising.

After losses of $2.5 billion in the past two years, Finance Minister Carole James’ February budget projects a loss of $91 million for the fiscal year ending March 31. With a cap on minor injury payouts and an administrative tribunal taking injury disputes out of court, the budget projects an $86 million surplus for 2020-21, increasing to $191 million in two years.

RELATED: Budget projects ICBC to return to surplus this year

RELATED: New drivers paying more for optional ICBC coverage

Eby expects further legal battles with the personal injury lawyers who have challenged his reforms in court. A B.C. Supreme Court judge struck down his first effort to limit the number of expert witnesses in injury cases last year.

Since that decision, Eby has moved to further restrict the ability of injured people to sue. Further legislation is expected to move to the “no fault” system for most injury cases, with a prescribed payout similar to the way WorkSafeBC deals with injuries or death on the job.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislatureICBC

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Three active COVID-19 cases on Vancouver Island

Since July 24, Central island has had five new cases, North one, South none

Canada can lead the way to save sharks from extinction, says fisheries expert

“Combined with fishing extraction numbers, sharks experience huge losses in the environment.”

Five Vancouver Island First Nations call out Canada for ‘discriminatory’ food fish practices

West Coast nations say government ignoring court-won right to chinook and coho

Famous Yukon-based bhangra dancer brings movements of joy to Long Beach

Infamous dancer is exploring Vancouver Island, visiting the B.C. Legislature and other destinations

Bear trapped and killed near Tofino-Ucluelet

“This bear just was not leaving humans alone,” said Conservation Officer Andrew Riddell.

Lawsuit launched after Florida child handcuffed, booked and briefly jailed

Suit alleges “deliberate indifference” to what should have been handled as a behavioural issue

Russia approves vaccine, Putin hopes to begin mass production

Critic calls decision to proceed without thorough testing ‘dangerous and grossly immoral’

Man, 54, charged in connection with fatal attack of Red Deer doctor

Doctor was killed in his walk-in clinic on Monday

Doctor slain in Alberta medical clinic was devoted father, husband

Red Deer doctors on edge after attack on colleague who had two young daughters

Alf Todd on a mission to fight Parkinson’s disease

Todd and group hope to raise $10,000 riding bikes to Port Alberni

Royal B.C. Museum wants B.C.’s COVID-19 nature observations

COVID-19 Collecting For Our Time: ongoing project cataloguing province’s pandemic experience

Feds offer ‘life preserver’ funds to BC Ferries as pandemic sinks revenue

For every dollar the province spends the federal government will match

Reimagined campaign continues to make Vancouver Island wishes come true

#UnWinedOutside allows participants to support Make-A-Wish Foundation, local businesses

Most Read