VICTORIA — The New Democrats relied heavily on advice from the Insurance Corp. of B.C. in crafting legislation to cap payouts to victims of minor injuries and burgeoning legal costs, Attorney-General David Eby confirmed Monday.
The troubled auto insurance corporation supplied comparisons to what has worked elsewhere, and costed the options in what has been characterized as a “lite” version of no-fault auto insurance.
“We couldn’t have done it without the assistance of ICBC,” Eby told reporters at the release of the enabling legislation Monday. “They were instrumental in this process.”
I’m sure they were. ICBC has lobbied successive governments on no fault, shorthand for a system that limits claim costs by capping payouts and minimizing litigation.
The corporation persuaded the New Democrats to go that route the last time they were in power, only to see the drive turned back by a well-funded campaign from trial lawyers.
The government-owned auto insurer floated three variations on no fault when the B.C. Liberals took over from the New Democrats. But then-Premier Gordon Campbell squashed the notion in a letter to the ICBC board: “The government will not be considering such options at this time.”
Nor did the Liberals embrace such options under subsequent Premier Christy Clark, never mind an emerging financial crisis at ICBC and comparable jurisdictions having already gone the route of limiting payouts for minor injuries and litigation.
On taking office after a B.C. Liberal-authored financial crisis at ICBC, the New Democrats did face up to the need to finally act to contain costs.
The result was two pieces of legislation tabled Monday, one addressing the cap on settlements and other costs, the other providing for minor claims to be channelled into a less expensive dispute-resolution process.
But as legislative packages go, this one raised as many questions as it answered, being awash in generalities with specifics …read more
Source:: Vancouver Sun