Wilkinson’s whoppers on ICBC continue to pile up

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BC Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson continues to make false statements about ICBC to cover his government’s embarrassing record.

Here’s a recap of some of Wilkinson’s ICBC whoppers:

Whopper 1: When challenged on Former Transportation Minister Todd Stone’s 2015 attempt to give away a $3 million building to lobbyists, Wilkinson bizarrely claimed “that’s just nonsense.” (CHNL, Oct 25).

Fact: In 2015, Stone promised to transfer ICBC’s training facility to the Automotive Retailers Association (ARA). And there’s video:

“I am pleased to announce I have directed ICBC to transfer their training facility from their ownership and control to the ownership and control of the ARA.”

Whopper 2: Wilkinson falsely claimed of ICBC that “nobody uses this model anywhere in the world, except BC.” (CKNW, Oct 25)

Fact: In addition to BC, public auto insurance models operate successfully in Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Quebec where auto insurance is substantially cheaper than in private jurisdictions in Canada.

Whopper 3: In that same interview, Wilkinson called for a review that his government had already conducted… and then ignored:

“We need to have a complete review of auto insurance in this province… Let’s look at the best examples from around the world — New Zealand, Australia, the UK, across Canada — find out what the best options are.” (CKNW, Oct 25)

Fact:  When Wilkinson was in cabinet, the BC Liberal government conducted a review that explicitly compared ICBC to those jurisdictions. Yesterday Todd Stone even called it “the most comprehensive review in ICBC’s history.” (CKNW, Oct 28)

In a previous report, the BC Liberals deleted seven pages of recommendations that identified and would have fixed problems with ICBC. These are among the recommendations that the NDP government is acting on now.

Whopper 4: Wilkinson frequently cites examples of young drivers’ premiums, claiming privatization will result in lower rates for young drivers.

Fact: A report commissioned last year by private insurance companies says that young drivers would pay more with private insurance than under ICBC:

“Under full competition estimated average premiums for divers under age 20 would be approximately 37 percent higher than ICBC’s required premiums in 2016. Average premiums for drivers aged 20 to 24 were expected to be approximately 24 per cent higher and premiums for those aged 25 to 34 were estimated to be approximately 18 per cent higher.” (Insurance Bureau of Canada Report, Page 35)

Bonus Whopper from Jas Johal: Johal claimed executive compensation at ICBC increased under the NDP.

Fact: The NDP government came into power in July 2017, three months into the 2017-18 fiscal year. At ICBC, there were 526 people earning $100-150k, 117 earning $150-200k, and 32 earning $200k+.

By the end of the first full year (2018-19), the NDP had reduced those categories by 10 per cent (-54), 38 per cent (-45), and 34 per cent (-11) respectively. The NDP also reduced executive compensation by 17 per cent. (Link)