Andrew Wilkinson’s B.C. Liberals created a costly mess at ICBC: NDP

Andrew Wilkinson

ANDREW Wilkinson’s B.C. Liberals secretly created a mess at ICBC and left British Columbians holding the bag, says the NDP and point to their track record:

  • The B.C. Liberals raided $1.2 billion from ICBC – money that should have been kept to keep rates affordable for people – in order to pad their own annual budgets.
  • As the 2017 election approached, the B.C. Liberals downplayed and hid the truth of ICBC’s finances from voters, claiming things were under control.
  • But in November 2017, Attorney General David Eby revealed that the B.C. Liberals had actually left ICBC more than $1 billion in deficit.

The B.C. Liberals were blatantly dishonest with people about the financial mess they created at ICBC, and about what it meant for people’s rates.

  • In January 2018, the Vancouver Sun revealed that the B.C. Liberals received a report in 2014 warning of the impending crisis at ICBC and proposing solutions to save British Columbians billions of dollars. Instead of acting on the recommendations, the government deleted them before making the report public.
  • Attorney General David Eby wrote to former BC Liberal Finance Minister Mike de Jong, requesting that he exercise his power to waive cabinet privilege so the report could be released to the public.
  • Andrew Wilkinson and De Jong refused to let the public see the report. The public was eventually able to see the pages only because the Vancouver Sun did what Wilkinson refused – released the pages.
  • Instead of doing the right thing for people, Andrew Wilkinson doubled down on the B.C. Liberal record of putting themselves ahead of British Columbians.

Even worse – as a direct result of claims initiated under the B.C. Liberal government and because they ignored advice on how to keep claims under control – ICBC is looking at a staggering $1.3 billion loss in 2018.

B.C. Liberal MLA Todd Stone, who was the minister responsible for ICBC at the time, made it clear that Wilkinson bears significant responsibility for the B.C. Liberals’ bad choices at ICBC. At a B.C. Liberal leadership debate on November 19, 2017, Stone told Wilkinson: “I would remind you that you were sitting at the cabinet table with me for the last four and a half years, as we discussed ICBC many many times.”

A July 2017 report showed that ICBC rates could climb 30 per cent if significant reform was not undertaken. The BC NDP stepped in to prevent B.C. Liberal rate hikes.

British Columbians are still feeling the impact in their wallets from bad choices the B.C. Liberals made, says the NDP. Premier John Horgan and the New Democrat government are working hard to fix the problems created by the BC Liberals, and are determined make ICBC work for people again, it adds.