Charter protection needed for rural Canadians

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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Kiah Thiessen-Clark and Kate Thiessen-Clark from W.L. McLeod Elementary won third place in their grade during the science fair held by School District 91. (SD91/website)
SD91 District holds Science Fair; announces 2021 finalists

Several finalists were from EBUS Academy and W.L. McLeod Elementary

(Photo - Pixabay)
NVSS Queer Alliance group in Vanderhoof launch “Share the Love” campaign

Sense of community, empowerment and positivity are the visions of the NVSS group

(Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
Murder charge laid in February 2020 stabbing death of Smithers man

Michael Egenolf is charged with the second-degree murder of Brodie Cumiskey

Island Health chief medical officer Dr. Richard Stanwick receives a first dose of Pfizer vaccine, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
COVID-19: B.C. seniors aged 90+ can start to sign up for vaccination on March 8

Long-term care residents protected by shots already given

Local Canfor workers among those taking government-sponsored early retirement.  (Black Press file photo)
Local workers take up government retirement offer

Program to buffer forest industry closures

Older rental apartments are prime candidates for renovations, and could result in lost affordable housing stock. (Zoë Ducklow photo)
B.C.’s renoviction overhaul a good start, but won’t preserve affordable stock, lawyer says

And still no protection for people who can’t pay rent due to COVID-19

(Photo by Marissa Baecker/Shoot the Breeze)
B.C. WHL teams to hit the ice with Kelowna, Kamloops hub cities

Kelowna, Kamloops centres chosen to host B.C. WHL teams for 24-game regular season

The machines are akin to ATMs and allow drug users at risk of overdose to get hydromorphone pills dispensed to them after their palm has been scanned to identify its unique vein pattern. (CANADIAN PRESS)
Feds dole out $3.5M for ‘vending machines’ to dispense safer opioids in B.C.

The machines are located in four cities across Canada, including Vancouver and Victoria

Kelowna’s lakefront visitor centre is one of 130 around the province. Tourism businesses have been hardest hit by COVID-19 restrictions on travel. (Destination B.C.)
Tourism, small business getting COVID-19 help, B.C. minister says

$300M grant program has delivered $50 million so far

The incident happened in downtown Castlegar. Photo: Betsy Kline
Castlegar teen recounts stabbing after stranger breaks into grandmother’s house

The unnamed teen survived a terrifying attack Feb. 21

(Black Press file photo)
Agassiz boy, 11, dies from ‘extensive injuries’: Homicide team

Agassiz RCMP were called out Friday to assist with a child in medical distress

Dr. Amit Desai of St. Francis Hospital receives a COVID-19 vaccine on Dec. 17. (Photo courtesy of CHI Franciscan)
B.C. has now vaccinated more people from COVID-19 than total confirmed cases

B.C. has reached a milestone, vaccinating roughly 1.6% of its population from the coronavirus

Most Read