Shane Woodford | Email news tips to firstname.lastname@example.org
The Canadian Taxpayers Federation says the BC Government has dropped the ball at ICBC leaving taxpayers on the hook for millions.
bc spokesperson jordan bateman says problem number one is "We need better negotiators in government we need people who are there standing up for taxpayers who are grinding down executive compensation deals at the very beginning when we sign on the Auditor General made reference to this a few years back in a report maybe moving to fixed term contracts finding different ways in order to save us this severance money in the long run."
Bateman says on the BC Government's watch iICBC grew too quickly and became top heavy.
"You know there is no doubth long term money will be saved but again it is money we shouldn't have spent in the first place. the worst part of this whole story is the ICBC managers looked us in the eye and said we are going to make all these cuts and the public won't notice, and service levels won't be reduced, well if the public doesn't notice if you are cutting these jobs why did we hire them in the first place."
Bateman says people are angry over the golden handshake especially as they pay insurance premiums.
"Our basic rates went up this year you know government takes more and more money out of ICBC so away from the ratepayers and putting it into general funds. I mean ICBC has been a problem for a long time media outlets, watchdogs like us, we kept red flagging it and trying to get the governments attention it finally took that provincial review to get the full story and now we are paying the consequences."
While the Premier says the ICBC severance payouts are "ridiculous" but her government's hands are tied, theNDP are saying the buck stops with Christy Clark.
ICBC critic Mable Elmore says it isn't just ICBC.
"We have heard this in Community Living BC, in BC Ferries, and many other crown corporations. The final responsibility rests with the Premier and it is her responsibility to oversee these areas and I think that is where we have seen quite frankly a lack of leadership and a lack of taking responsibility."
When asked if insurance rates could have been reduced if millions in severance wasn't being paid out, Elmore says..
"That is a good question and a fair question given that the Liberals didn't seem to have an idea what was going on for five years at ICBC and I have other questions as well in terms of not only severance and executive compensation. The lack of plans around payments due to bodily injury claims."
Elmore says the province has been operating ICBC for years with no plan, oversight, or accountability.
Severance payments could cost 26 million dollars for ICBC job cuts to create 29 million in savings through 2013.