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

Surrey RCMP not seeing ‘significant loss’ in ranks because of COVID-19

Surrey Mounties say they have a good tracking system to keep tabs on police officers experiencing an illness

Supreme Court upholds White Rock council decision on Lady Alexandra development

Planned 12-storey highrise on lower Johnston Road was stalled in 2018

‘Potentially life-threatening’ injuries in South Surrey crash

152 Street closed in both directions between Colebrook Road and 40 Avenue

No final high school game for Surrey all-stars; six scholarship winners named

COVID-19 forces cancellation of all-star games for boys and girls at Enver Creek gym April 3

B.C. records five new COVID-19 deaths, ‘zero chance’ life will return to normal in April

Province continue to have a recovery rate of about 50 per cent

John Horgan extends B.C.’s state of emergency for COVID-19

Premier urges everyone to follow Dr. Bonnie Henry’s advice

B.C.’s first community COVID-19 death was dentist ‘dedicated’ to health: lawyer

Vincent was 64 when he died on March 22 after attending the Pacific Dental Conference

6.5-magnitude earthquake in Idaho shakes B.C. Interior

An earthquake was reportedly felt just before 5 p.m. throughout the Okanagan

Two inmates at prison housing Robert Pickton test positive for COVID-19

Correctional Service of Canada did not release any details on the identities of the inmates

BC heart surgery patient rarely leaves home

James Jepson is especially vulnerable to the novel coronavirus

BC SPCA launches matching campaign to help vulnerable animals after big donations

Two BC SPCA donors have offered up to $65,000 in matching donations

Anti-tax group calls for MPs, senators to donate scheduled pay raises to charity

Bill C-30, adopted 15 years ago, mandates the salary and allowance increases each calendar year

Two arrested after man lies about COVID-19 illness to stay in Victoria Airbnb for free

Victoria Police found stolen goods inside the occupied unit

Most Read