Charter protection needed for rural Canadians

Writer on ICBC “relief” for rural rates, and says lack of protection means subsidizing urban voters.

Editor,

I was shocked to read ICBC spokesperson Joanna Linsagan’s statement on the ongoing campaign to get ICBC to release data on insurance rates in rural B.C. It seems that ICBC expects rural British Columbians to be happy that they will continue to be overcharged for their vehicle insurance for at least 10 more years.

Are they hoping that rural British Columbians are suffering from Stockholm Syndrome, feeling gratitude towards our insurance monopoly ‘captors?’ Ms. Linsagan even talks about the 3.5 per cent territorial rate decrease coming later in the year, calling it ‘relief’ while neglecting to note that overall rates are at least 30 per cent too high, and are about to go up another 6.3 per cent!

The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms offers Canadians protection from discrimination based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability, but not based on where you live in Canada. ICBC and many decades of B.C. governments have taken advantage of this oversight, actively milking rural British Columbians to subsidize the insurance of urban drivers or fatten ICBC’s profit margin. Now we are simply asking for the data, and they are stalling. Any ‘mom-and-pop’ business in Canada could provide year-end tallies of their income and expenses at the press of a button. ICBC, a multi-billion-dollar corporation paying millions in executive salaries, needs months if not years to do the same? Doesn’t that smell a bit fishy?

Where are our rural MLAs in all this? Conspicuously silent. Rather than standing up for their constituents, who appear to be paying hundreds of millions of dollars a year to support their urban neighbours’ driving habits, they choose party loyalty favouring urban votes.

It’s time to add a line to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, offering some protection for rural British Columbians.

Darcy Repen

Telkwa

Just Posted

Block party at Northern View Cannery Road Race

Terrace family top the podium in each of their racing categories

Stolen property recovered

Police briefs from Sept. 9-11

Terrace couple wins Lotto Max

Money to be put towards retirement and motorcycle trip

Skeena Paddle Club awarded $2K grant for youth program

Sessions teach residents how to canoe, kayak

First Nations given max compensation for Ottawa’s child-welfare discrimination

2016 ruling said feds didn’t give same funding for on-reserve kids as was given to off-reserve kids

VIDEO: Vancouver Island mayor details emergency response after fatal bus crash

Sharie Minions says she is ‘appalled’ by condition of road where bus crashed

The Northern View announces inaugural Tyee Fishing Derby in Prince Rupert

More than $7,000 up for grabs for biggest legal salmon and halibut

Conservatives promise tax cut that they say will address Liberal increases

Scheer says the cut would apply to the lowest income bracket

B.C. VIEWS: Cutting wood waste produces some bleeding

Value-added industry slowly grows as big sawmills close

Fewer trees, higher costs blamed for devastating downturn in B.C. forestry

Some say the high cost of logs is the major cause of the industry’s decline in B.C.

Federal food safety watchdog says batch of baby formula recalled

The agency says it’s conducting a food safety investigation

UVic president offers condolences after two students killed in bus crash

‘We also grieve with those closest to these members of our campus community,’ Cassels says

Coming Home: B.C. fire chief and disaster dog return from hurricane-ravaged Bahamas

The pair spent roughly one week on Great Abaco Island assisting in relief efforts

Newcomer Ferland lines up with sniper Pettersson as Vancouver Canucks camp opens

Ferland provides more depth and a scoring threat up front, Pettersson says

Most Read