More fireworks in the legislature today as the NDP and governing BC Liberals sparred over ICBC’s financial woes.
The clash comes after this week’s budget revealed the insurer is facing a $396-million loss this year, with hundreds of millions more in losses across the government’s three-year fiscal plan.
“This was the government, honourable speaker, that took $1.2-billion meant to pay claims out of ICBC,” said NDP Critic Adrian Dix during Question Period.
The province last year agreed to give up the near half-billion dollar dividend it pulled from the insurer, but even so, Transportation Minister Todd Stone was making no apology for the practice.
“Which health programs, which education programs, would the members opposite say we shouldn’t have invested in with those dollars?”
READ MORE: ICBC sets terms for insurance rate review
“They aren’t watching what’s going on, they’re not witnesses to rising insurance costs, they’re driving the car honourable speaker, ” shot Dix.
Stone says the crown corporation is doing what it can, but is facing mounting pressures.
“He doesn’t want to talk about bodily injury claims rising as steadily as they are. He doesn’t want to talk about the rising costs of tin, he doesn’t want to talk about the rising costs of claims.”
The province announced several measures earlier this winter to try and tackle those costs, including beefing up fraud detection and getting ICBC out of the business of insuring luxury cars.
In December, Stone also announced the insurer would be facing a review this year as it sought to get rates and costs under control.