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

Sailings filling up on Northern Sea Wolf

There is a strong demand for the service

New ownership group presents Mount Timothy Resort plans

‘More activity and more people on the hill means more fun’

Thunderstorms in forecast for much of Cariboo Chilcotin

Special weather statements, concerns of flash flooding, for southern B.C. regions

Two Nuxalk artists awarded YVR Art Foundation scholarships

Several Nuxalk artists have won the award, some more than once

Concerns over democracy as Senate committee votes to nix oil tanker ban

Critics of the Senate’s recommendation to kill Bill C-48 say it goes against popular will

REPLAY: The best videos from across B.C. this week

In case you missed it, here’s a look at the replay-worth highlights from this week in the province

Mistrial declared in Jamie Bacon murder plot trial

Bacon was on trial for counselling to commit the murder of Person X

B.C. VIEWS: Money-laundering melodrama made for TV

Public inquiry staged to point fingers before 2021 election

Canadian homebuyers escaping high housing costs by moving to secondary cities

In British Columbia, exurbs have grown in the Hope Valley and Kamloops

Feds lay out proposed new rules for voice, video recorders in locomotives

Transport Canada wants to limit use of recorders to if a crew’s actions led to a crash

Raptors beat Bucks 100-94 to advance to franchise’s first-ever NBA Finals

Leonard has 27 points, 17 boards to lead Toronto past Milwaukee

Third person charged in death of B.C. teen found in torched SUV

Inderdeep Kaur Deo facing charge of accessory after the fact to murder

Kamloops girl, 9, recovering from carbon monoxide poisoning now out of ICU

Her mother who was sleeping in the same tent with her did not survive

‘I think he’s still alive’: B.C. mom pleads for help finding son last seen a month ago

Family offering $5,000 reward for information leading to the safe return of Tim Delahaye

Most Read