THE Canadian Bar Association, BC Branch (CBABC) announced on Thursday that it is deeply disappointed in the announcement made by Premier John Horgan and Attorney General David Eby to introduce a “no-fault” insurance plan to address ICBC’s ongoing financial problems.
It said it is opposed to no-fault insurance for British Columbians, adding that across the country, these programs have been proven to reduce the rights of injured victims to have their claims assessed based on their individual circumstances.
“Our system of justice is built on fairness and the acceptance of responsibility for our actions,” said CBABC President Ken Armstrong. “An innocent victim of an accident has a right to expect that the person at fault for the accident take responsibility for it. In a no-fault insurance plan, no one but the victims and their families bear the consequences of that accident.”
He added: “People have a right to compensation that respects their personal situation. A construction worker who is permanently disabled and cannot be on his feet for more than an hour at a time suffers a different loss than a sales representative with the same injury who can work sitting down. No-fault insurance pays the same amount for the same injury, based on set guidelines – and not by how that injury impacts someone’s earning capacity and lifestyle.”
Armstrong said: “The plan also significantly reduces people’s access to justice by making it harder for them to receive legal advice and representation to deal with the same insurer that the government just announced needs a new Fairness Office.”
CBABC said it continues to advocate for real and meaningful change at ICBC, including measures that will decrease the incidence of motor vehicle accidents and accident-related injuries along with developing a system of premium assessment that motivates reasonable and prudent behaviours, and penalizes risky and unsafe behaviours.
CBABC welcomed the opportunity to consult with government on the best path forward for public insurance in British Columbia.
The Canadian Bar Association is the professional organization representing more than 36,000 lawyers, judges and law students across Canada with 7,000 members in British Columbia.