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

Haida Gwaii sportfishing lodges set to shut down

Tourism company wants to enact experiences more in line with Haida values

Immediate deal to reinstate AMHS in Prince Rupert not out of the question: Mayor Brain

B.C., Alaska officials fail to sign ferry deal in Juneau to reinstate service from Ketchikan

‘It affects everybody:’ Trudeau’s brownface photos worry Wet’suwet’en chief

Skeena-Bulkley Valley Liberal candidate declines to comment on prime minister’s indiscretion

Haida Gwaii art gala seeks submissions

Annual fundraiser supports local artists and programs

PHOTOS: Young protesters in B.C. and beyond demand climate change action

Many demonstaers were kids and teens who skipped school to take part

Walmart to quit selling e-cigarettes amid vaping backlash

U.S.’s largest retailer points to ‘growing’ complications in federal, state and local regulations

Former B.C. lifeguard gets house arrest for possession of child porn

Cees Vanderniet of Grand Forks will serve six months of house arrest, then two years’ probation

Crown alleges resentment of ex-wife drove Oak Bay father to kill his daughters

Patrick Weir alleged in his closing arguments that Andrew Berry is responsible for the deaths of his daughters

‘I’d do it again,’ says B.C. man who swam naked, drunk in Toronto shark tank

David Weaver, of Nelson, was drunk when he went to Ripley’s Aquarium in Toronto on Oct. 12 2018

How to react to Trudeau’s racist photos? With humility, B.C. prof says

‘We are now treating racism as a crime that you cannot recover from’

Victoria man spots online photo of his totem pole 11 years after it was stolen

Mark Trueman restored the pole himself before it was stolen off of his property in Duncan

VIDEO: Fire destroys Williams Lake strip club targeted by past arson attempts

Diamonds and Dust Entertainment Lounge destroyed by fire, as well as New World Tea and Coffee House

Trudeau seeks meeting with Singh to apologize for blackface, brownface photos

‘I will be apologizing to him personally as a racialized Canadian,’ Trudeau said Friday

Most Read