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Op/Ed – B.C. Drivers Deserve ICBC Rebates Now

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Vancouver (Kris Sims, Canadian Taxpayers Federation) – The Canadian Taxpayers Federation is taking aim at the British Columbia government’s move to deny B.C. drivers rebates from ICBC during the COVID-19 crisis.

“Drivers in other parts of Canada already got about $280 back in rebates from their auto insurance providers months ago and ICBC is giving us nothing,” said Kris Sims, B.C. Director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation. “ICBC is talking about rebates, but its annual report shows it’s pocketing savings from the shutdown while it’s pointing to rebates connected to the shift to no-fault insurance.”

Reports say the B.C. government is looking for a company to process ICBC rebates to return drivers’ money, but the cheques aren’t expected to be in the mail until May of 2021.

That rebate money isn’t from the massive savings ICBC saw while people weren’t driving to work during the economic lock-down, it’s money that drivers are currently being overcharged for third-party liability coverage while ICBC is switching to no-fault insurance.

“We are not getting any of our COVID-19 lockdown money back from ICBC,” said Sims. “We might get rebates next year, but it’s the money we are being overcharged before no-fault kicks in.”

After months of delays, ICBC finally posted its annual report late Monday afternoon showing that the government-forced monopoly had a year-to-date deficit of $360 million as of March 31, 2020.

“The B.C. government is trying to extinguish ICBC’s fiscal dumpster fire by using the money taken from B.C. drivers that should have been given back to them during the lock-down,” said Sims. “It’s banking on a global pandemic and an economic lockdown to balance the books and that’s unacceptable.

“B.C. drivers deserve the right to choose their own insurance providers and it’s time for the government to open up ICBC to competition.”

Canadian Taxpayers Federation

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