Attorney General David Eby (Black Press)

VIDEO: ICBC report should have been released, Eby says

B.C. government capping minor injury awards five years later

The B.C. Liberal government should have released its full 2014 report on the deteriorating financial situation at the Insurance Corporation of B.C., even if they didn’t act on all the recommendations, Attorney General David Eby says.

The key recommendation that was removed from an Ernst and Young analysis of rising insurance costs was placing a cap on minor injury and pain and suffering awards from car accidents. With ICBC facing a potential $1.3 billion loss this year, Eby announced the province is implementing those changes in 2019.

RELATED: ICBC to cap pain and suffering payouts

The former B.C. Liberal government commissioned the report as ICBC costs began soaring, restricting the province’s long-standing practice of taking a dividend from its operation and putting upward pressure on rates.

Rising accident rates and an 80 per cent increase in injury claim costs in the past seven years forced the government to act, putting a $5,500 limit on payouts for pain and suffering, and setting up a claim resolution tribunal to settle minor injury disputes without going to court.

Eby told reporters Thursday he has asked ICBC to review the parts of the report that were withheld in 2014, including advice about the corporation’s investments. He saw the missing pages for the first time Thursday, after they were obtained by the Vancouver Sun.

“I’m trying to imagine a situation where we would pay, probably on the order of about a half million to a million dollars for an expert report about how to address issues at a Crown corporation, and then remove pages from the report before it was released to the public,” Eby said. “The recommendations seem straightforward, and even if the government didn’t want to do the recommendations, surely they had a reason for that.”


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

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