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

VIDEO: Internet famous Yukon-based bhangra dancer explores Vancouver Island

Gurdeep Pandher spreads joy through dance, forms cross-cultural connections amid pandemic

Avoid giving dogs ice cubes, says Greater Victoria vet

Tips for keeping dogs cool and safe this summer

Hungry Hearts Gala goes virtual with new mac and cheese competition

Results will be announced on Facebook live stream event

GVPL staggers reopening of three more branches in Oak Bay, Saanich and Victoria

More Greater Victoria Library branches to reopen in August

Gaps in the system: Youth cope with homelessness in Greater Victoria

Four-part series will look at youth homelessness in the region

53 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths cap off week of high infection rates in B.C.

Roughly 1,500 people are self-isolating because they either have COVID-19 or have been exposed to it

Unofficial holidays: the weird and wonderful things people celebrate around the world

On any given day of the year, there are several strange, silly or serious holidays to observe

Missing teen visiting Courtenay found safe

She had last been seen going for a walk on Aug. 6

Moving on: Tanev scores 11 seconds into OT as Canucks oust Wild

Vancouver beats Minnesota 5-4 to move into first round of NHL playoffs

Fitness non-profit challenges citizens to invent a game to be physically active

The campaign was launched after a study showed only 4.8 per cent of children and youths in Canada met required standards of the 24-hour movement guidelines

Gene editing debate takes root with organic broccoli, new UBC research shows

Broccoli is one of the best-known vegetables with origins in this scientific haze

VIDEO: U.S. Air Force pilot does fly-by for B.C. son amid COVID border separation

Sky-high father-son visit plays out over White Rock Pier

3 Vancouver police officers test positive for COVID after responding to large party

Union president says other officers are self-isolating due to possible exposure

Vancouver Island team takes on wacky challenges of world’s largest scavenger hunt

Greatest International Scavenger Hunt taking place Aug. 1-8

Most Read