Keeping it Real…

Keeping it Real… header image 2

Hydro’s $340 MILLION Over-run! Liberal Defence: IGNORANCE!

June 27th, 2013 · 39 Comments

I don’t think I’ve EVER seen this before: a cabinet minister standing in the Legislature admitting his government HAD NO IDEA until  just weeks ago that the Northwest Hydro Transmission Line project …  already $200 MILLION over-budget ….  was actually now going to be almost $340 MILLION over budget …  an EXTRA $140 MILLION OVER BUDGET  … and Hydro had  NOT even informed the Ministry as the costs continued to climb!

This is the level of fiscal management expertise the voters of BC chose?

A Hydro spokesman explained most of the extra costs resulted from difficulties in clearing the power line’s right of way, costs for constructing service roads beside the line, delays and bringing labour in from across the province.

I wonder if BC Hydro uses the same geniuses who did the costing estimates for the new Vancouver Convention Centre or BC Place?  Did a new mountain suddenly spring up in the path of the line? Is it just fiscal planning incompetence? Bad management? Or were the costs deliberately understated at the beginning to get approval for the project?

Some people, some companies make A LOT of extra money when the supposedly EXPERT analysis and assessment for any project costs go 340 MILLION over budget!

So on top of the original estimated price tag of $404 million … the new projected cost is now $736 million … and counting

Who knows what the final figures will be! Not BC Hydro!  Not the BC government! And certainly not those of us who …one way or another …will pay for it all!

Thursday …in the first Question Period of the new Legislative session, NDP Leader Adrian Dix repeatedly nailed Energy Minister Bill Bennett over the cost overruns.

Bennett’s response: the government had no idea until AFTER the election the costs had gone up another $140 MILLION!

Ignorance IS bliss!

But think about it: the election was only six weeks ago and before that Liberals had NO IDEA that costs had continued to skyrocket … not $10 million, not $20 million , not even $50 million …but ANOTHER $140 MILLION!!!!

For almost the entire Question Period NDP critics tried to find out how the government could be so out of touch with reality over at BC Hydro?

Bennett said he is not happy at what has happened …. that the government wasn’t even told, as costs continued to escalate so high.

And yet, he defended the government’s decision to EXEMPT the project from scrutiny/approval process of the BC Utilities Commission.  Jobs! Jobs! Jobs!

Something stinks to me … not only about EVEN MORE  cost over-runs, suddenly revealed AFTER the election, but WHY the government took the project out of the evaluating scrutiny of the BCUC.

The government … of course … will NOT get to the bottom of this.

But the media should!!!

Stop laughing!

Harv Oberfeld

Tags: British Columbia

39 responses so far ↓

  • 1 G. Barry Stewart // Jun 27, 2013 at 5:27 pm

    Meanwhile, we’re pinching pennies to keep our schools running.

    I wonder if the folks in Westside-Kelowna are thinking about this disaster, that is all under the BC Liberals’ watch. And who was on the bridge while the overruns were happening?

    Of course, Christy Clark had nothing to do with it.

    (Response: I can only imagine the reaction from the Liberals had there been an NDP government in power! h.o)

  • 2 Hugh // Jun 27, 2013 at 5:54 pm

    $736 million for NW line.
    $ 1 billion for unnecessary ‘smart grid’.
    $8 billion for proposed, not-needed, Site C.
    $55+ billion for expensive, not-needed IPP power.

    Just put it on the tab. “How-To Bankrupt a Public Utility”.

  • 3 D. M. Johnston // Jun 27, 2013 at 6:02 pm

    Do I hear buyer’s remorse? Me thinks prenier photo-op is going to get very ‘stale-dated’ very quickly.

    The Ides of March is nine month’s away and I can for-see and hear photo-op moan on the steps of the Legislature; “Et Tu Fassbender”.

    To which Fassbender replies; “Liberty! Freedom! Tyranny is gone!

  • 4 chuckstraight // Jun 27, 2013 at 7:20 pm

    Sadly it was very predicable.
    This is what “we” voted for.
    We haven`t seen anything yet.

  • 5 john's Aghast // Jun 27, 2013 at 8:39 pm

    I wonder what that will do to the ‘balanced’ budget?

    (Response: Well, Finance Minister Mike De Jong has already said the expected surplus this year will now be $153 million …down from the $197 million projection in his budget before the election. Stand by for more “adjustments”? h.o)

  • 6 Gini // Jun 27, 2013 at 11:29 pm

    I’m beginning to wonder if the NDP didn’t ‘throw’ the election because they knew just how impossible it was going to be to clean up after 12 years of BC Liberal mismanagement.

    Maybe they decided to let the BC Liberals wallow in their own muck instead of being able to pass it on and blame the NDP for everything that’s bound to go wrong. Heck, it’s already started!

    I noticed Ms. Photo-Op sitting behind de Jong as he babbled on about the budget. I thought she wasn’t allowed in there until she got elected. Horgan said she was passing notes to the Ministers, and he was not amused. I think he mentioned something about bringing it up next Tuesday.

    (Response: MLAs can invite guests to sit in the chairs along the wall behind the MLAs, but they cannot speak, applaud, or do anything to participate/assist in the discussions. As for throwing the election …no …it was just a bad campaign, with what the voters concluded was an anti-job platform that did them in. h.o)
    Hang on, British Columbians, it looks like we’re in for a bumpy ride!

  • 7 Stan Mortensen // Jun 28, 2013 at 1:55 am

    Harvey, I stopped laughing a long, long time ago at the Conservative (miss-named as BC Liberal) government in Victoria. Now it’s just tears and fears for the future. I do keep hearing rumors that there are real liberals there but I think someone was drinking spiked Kool-Aid at the time they suggested to me.

    I guess if and it’s a very big IF the minister is correct that they were apparently blind sided by this information, then certainly there needs to be some serious vetting of the BC Hydro Board of Directors and Executives and other senior management there. Seems to me this should be grounds for non-compensable firings. Certainly in private enterprises that would be the case.

    But hey, what’s a few hundred million bucks amongst friends and insiders, its’ not their money after all.

    I seem to recall something about a parliamentary debate way back when and Harvey you may well know better than I when in response to a minister saying $1m dollars was just a drop in a bucket, some wise wag in the opposition apparently responded with “Some bucket, some drop”. I wonder what the response to this would be in more modern terms that would be fit to print and an appropriate timely rejoinder.

    Now for the real scary part, there is likely going to be more of this stuff to follow………

    (Response: Maybe the government should hire David Baines, now that he has retired from The Sun, to investigate the who and what and why of goings on in this latest fiscal fiasco! I doubt you’ll get it from provincial public officials, who seem to me to have more in common with their taxpayer-funded counterparts at Hydro than with ordinary public and businesses who could pay BILLIONS (including interest) for all this before the project is paid off. h.o)

  • 8 Guy in Victoria // Jun 28, 2013 at 3:40 am

    Funny how the MSM & Taxpayers will jump on the band wagon to cry foul over union wages in the public sector…. yet the same vocal objection is absent when it involves the “Free & Private Enterprise” system.
    Like you say Harvey, it’s not like a new mountain sprung up….. so who shares in the extra millions ?

    (Response: The media should be investigating ALL the contracts handed out? Who’s cashing in? If they quoted “low” to get the contracts,why don’t those companies eat the new “extra” costs? Or are there incompetents at Hydro whose specs were so off? There are a lot questions here …to few answers. I suspect that if those in charge of such awful estimating worked in private industry, they’d go out the door. But somehow when the public pays the bills … top management elected officials do nothing. Is there a wink-wink understanding at play here behind the scenes? h.o)

  • 9 e.a.f. // Jun 28, 2013 at 11:39 am

    Don’t expect any investigation by the media. The reason, the comments in your previous column. It might be an interesting project for some one doing a Masters or PhD thesis on public administration or something along those lines. Unless a group of interested citizens get together to find out what is happening, nothing will happen. I don’t see the opposition allocating resources to this either.

    Tens of millions going side ways but seniors have to pay $25 a month for a wheelchairs. They are still funding raising for a new children’s hospital. There is something very wrong in this province.

    Those who think the lieberals are the better money managers, obviously have never read the “books” of the government. Their projects are constantly going over budget by hundreds of millions of dollars.

    With the government so deeply in debt, there aren’t going to be any jobs, jobs, jobs. Business will be leaving the province in droves. They know at some point the individual taxpayers won’t be able to pay the ever increasing levies and taxes. And just prior to getting there the taxpayers will stop buying anything but the very basics of life. B.C. is running out of money. The baby boomers have received their inheritances. They are using it to finish paying off their own bills and helping out their children pay off their student loans and helping them get established. Once that money is gone, the economy of this province will take a serious nose dive. The generational wealth from the “blessed ones”, the baby boomer’s parents, will be gone. B.C. doesn’t have the highest rate of consumer debt for nothing.

    The over runs at B.C. Hydro are nothing new. There has been a waste of money and excesses in anything the lieberals have touched. We went through the high salary “scandal” over at community living. who the hell knows what goes on at the health boards. Where does all the money go when it is given to “non profits”. The lieberals most likely couldn’t run a cool aid stand without going over budget.

    lets hope the voters in Kelowna have a good look at hooney booo boo and vote no to her.

    (Response: I urge everyone to KEEP your latest Hydro bill ..and compare it to what you will be paying for the exact same period NEXT year and the year after etc. Even taking inflation into account…you will still see HOW MUCH this and other Hydro mismanagement at the hands of Liberal government appointees will be costing you FOREVER more. Then compare it with your own income increases in the same periods. h.o)

  • 10 harry lawson // Jun 28, 2013 at 11:58 am

    sad but true harv.
    hydro like other crown corporations has been full of partisan patronage appointments. bythe goverment of the day.

    these people may have been great working for their political masters , however it is abundantly clear that they cannot manage hydro and other crown corps , health board etc.

    (Response: If you look at who’s on the Hydro board …all of them Liberal appointees and even supporters … it’s hard to understand how the government had absolutely no idea before the election the over-runs would skyrocket to $340 million in just a few weeks AFTER the vote. h.o)

  • 11 morry // Jun 28, 2013 at 1:44 pm

    “Liberal Defence: IGNORANCE!”

    Plausible and on the mark.

  • 12 Scotty on Denman // Jun 28, 2013 at 3:27 pm

    The expression “something stinks” figuratively means an unmistakable stench of dirty business that is discernible no matter how much the culprits try to hide it and relates to the most ancient, highly evolved sense of perception that can so exquisitely detect, categorize and recall a scent at amazingly dilute proportions—parts per trillions, even—and make memories of Grandma’s kitchen seem almost real many years later. Yet constant or frequently repeated smells inure so they can barely be noticed, even at high concentration, which is how people can stand things like itinerant putrefying bacteria in the caverns and canyons of their own dentition, employment in a rendering plant or hairdressing salon or the soup of soot and fumes millions of commuters breath every day on their drive to work and back. Like the turkey barns back home or Port Alberni’s “smell of money” (the pulp mill), what makes the uninitiated want to puke, you eventually get used to. That’s what I think has happened to us in BC: the stink of misappropriations of public money has been around so long now, we’re starting to not notice it so much—and that’s probably what some agencies in this province are hoping for so’s to continue bilking us taxpayers, consumers and public stakeholders. BC Hydro is a perfect example: alarms were rung when the castration of the Utilities Commission’s authority and the Auditor General’s condemnation forewarned of potential abuse of public trust, the first nauseating whiff of a necrotizing plot to beggar the venerable institution; yet that alarm diminished with each repeated sniff, the putrefying parasitism of IPPs, the sickening stench of Smartmeter contracts and now, most recently, this cost overrun whose smell test gets barely a ‘meh’ from MSM.

    Those who don’t learn are doomed to repeat and repetition is what we getting in BC: “we didn’t know anything about this during the last election.”…jeez, where did we hear this one before? “We’re going to run a positive campaign.” Here again is a repetition —and a three-peat trip back to the drawing board…or maybe the woodshed. How many more times do we need to learn this lesson? The sense of smell has, since the evolution of our nematode ancestors, been intended to warn us of corruption that, if left unattended, will fester and kill no matter how heavily it’s perfumed, as the stench of Auschwitz, Bhopal and Price William Sound has (repeatedly) shown.

    (Response: There will no doubt be a lot more like this in the next three years or so! It all makes the election results all the more painful for many. But I don’t think the fault lies so much with the voters but with the NDP campaign, the NDP supporters and activists penchant for urging “no” to so many projects and with Dix himself, who REALLY scared a lot of voters away with that shoot-from-the-lip scary Kinder sudden dismissal. h.o)

  • 13 Kranky // Jun 28, 2013 at 3:37 pm

    An interesting grifter in this story is one of Hydra’s many executive v-ps. Greg Reimer, formerly a deputy minister to Minister Potato Kevin Krueger,in the Campbell Lieberal govt. He was intimately involved in the fiasco re Boss Mining (uranium) which resulted in a taxpayer paid, court ordered settlement of 30 MILLION DOLLARS! Having proved his worth and competence, he was provided a soft landing at Mother Hydra. Following up on your challenge to the MSM,Harv, a visit to Hydra”s web site will list Reimer’s current responsibilities. The info there should wet any scribe with a sense of curiosity appetite to look for more. Connect the dots,fools. I wonder, for instance, what the negotiated rates were with local First Nations to clear the brush and push through these roads? Where’s David Baines when you need him? FOLLOW THE MONEY!!!

  • 14 Kranky // Jun 28, 2013 at 3:48 pm

    Just noticed your suggestion re ” the govt. hiring Baines”. I would lose all respect ( and I have a ton for him) if he ever took this govt’s shilling for any purpose. Now, if the stunned opposition hired him to connect the Hydra dots, OK, or the Tyee to do a series on all things Hydra, even better. Hey Dippers,whatever your paying Moe, pay Baines.

    (Response: Well, no need to worry. There is NO WAY this government would hire Baines to look into its spending waste, fiscal incompetence, patronage appointments and the ultimate cost to the taxpayers. h.o)

  • 15 Hurtlander // Jun 28, 2013 at 4:29 pm

    Someone up above asked if the folks in West Side Kelowna were paying attention to this latest example of Liberal mismanagement. Unfortunately they have been, I read the Castanet forum occasionally (a Kelowna forum) there is a thread about this hydro cost overrun. You’d be surprised how many people in the Kelowna area have defended this cost overrun because of the jobs it’ll create. I have a bad feeling that with the way those people think, Christy will be with us for a long time.

  • 16 john's Aghast // Jun 28, 2013 at 5:07 pm

    Well, I for one DO worry. I’ve been in the heavy construction business for over 55 years, have worked as a contractor for Hydro on several occasions. I know their contracts WERE ironclad, as were the MoT’s in the “Good Old Days”.
    Perhaps not so much these days?

    It was you who suggested to Stan M that ‘maybe the government should hire David Baines…’
    I think maybe someone else (NDP, Independent?) should hire him BEFORE the government has a chance to get at him. I’m not suggesting they could compromise him, but I’d feel better if he was on ‘our’ side.

    And I’m (almost) sure that anyone with 1/2 an a$$hole could find the flaws in the Hydro contracts. Just follow the money.

    So does this mean the ‘surplus’ is down to $13 million now? Already?

    (Response: The surplus will now be down to a supposed $153 million … but don’t count on it. Wouldn’t Baines make a GREAT Auditor General! Just imagine what HE could find! h.o)

  • 17 Mike // Jun 28, 2013 at 5:20 pm

    I’m positive that CC4BC (Concerned Citizens for BC) will be ALL over this!


  • 18 Lew // Jun 28, 2013 at 5:58 pm

    @Kranky (#13 above):

    The settlement was not court ordered. The government settled out of court to pay Boss the $30 million plus legal costs without a trial. This despite an independent report pegging the company’s losses at $8.7 million and the government’s estimates of the loss at between $4 million and $7 million.

    After the settlement Vaughn Palmer whined that we would now never get the truth because it didn’t go to court. Think about that. There isn’t an investigative journalist anywhere in BC that can dig into why we paid over $20 million more than the reported damages caused by the government’s screw up unless it goes to court. And our government won’t tell us.

    An inept fourth estate and a secretive, corrupt government. That’s a recipe for much more abuse to come.

  • 19 e.a.f. // Jun 28, 2013 at 6:28 pm

    If people in kelowna think these cost over runs are o.k. because they provide jobs, they need to do a little calculating. First if the over run is $200M and the workers are making, $80 a yr., then that leaves a lot of workers. But there aren’t that many workers there.

    Then of course you have to check if the workers are actually B.C. workers. We don’t know that do we? It could well be imports from the U.S.A. or other countries. All the contractors have to do is say, we can’t find Canadian workers. We know how well it worked for HD mining. So lets first check to see if all of these jobs are being held by Canadian workers.

    If its jobs the people in Kelowna are concerned about, it might be just cheaper to give people $60K a yr to live on.

  • 20 r // Jun 28, 2013 at 8:04 pm

    Your fired
    how politicized has BC HYDRO become.?

  • 21 G. Barry Stewart // Jun 28, 2013 at 8:17 pm

    Lew, I don’t think I ever heard about those disgusting $ figures you speak of.

    Perhaps I was paying too much attention to Adrian Dix and his Skytrain ticket?

  • 22 GeeBee // Jun 29, 2013 at 8:02 am

    There is no way the Libs didn’t know. Gordo’s old right hand man ‘SV’ sits by the red phone all day long to report directly to the LIBS on what BCH is doing. He gets a Hydro paycheque but is really just a LIEberal operative.
    The NWTL would never pass muster for Hydro but they were “told” to build it by the LIEberals. A few mining companies will become billionaires, the rest of the province will pay for it.

  • 23 13 // Jun 29, 2013 at 8:03 am

    Harvey, Ive got to say Dixie has pissed me off. I was SO looking forward to bashing him and the NDP for 4 years.
    Oh well stuck on the Liberal bashing wagon again.
    While reading about the debacle at BC Hydro and the governments involvement in areas where they dont belong (LCB) . I ask myself how can they defend any need to raise money for transit.
    All they need to do is get out of private sector work IE warehousing booze and selling booze. Get out of building egyptian sized ICBC claims centers. Next time your bored step into a claims center. 30 bays. The building takes up one whole city block. Of the 30 bays they might have 3 open and only use one at a time. Either scrap ICBC or allow full on competition from private companies including public liabilitiy. Sink or swim ICBC. Put an end to public sector gold plated pensions and contracts. Freeze them until the private sector catches up.(Tme line for catch up . Never never land) . Get rid of multiple municiple governments , school boards , health boards , policing, garbage collection, parks boards, ETC. Start firing civil servants by the hundreds at all 3 levels of government. There is no way that we need as many as we are paying for. Finaly find out why every new skytrain system is not comapatible with the previous systems. Fire everyone at translink and establish a ministry or transit. Fire mainroads and bring back the dept of highways. Jobs for the displaced liquor store employees.

    (Response: Anyone who was repulsed by the previous Liberal administration had better stock up on upset stomach medications. I predict they will be even more arrogant than before, with an election win even they did not expect. There has to be a viable alternative: I called in an earlier blog for a new free enterprise socially left leaning party…and soon I’ll make a suggestion for reviving the NDP. But do they listen to the “people” or just party insiders? h.o)

  • 24 13 // Jun 29, 2013 at 8:53 am

    Just think about the ICBC waste. Every one of the 30 bays has an office. Furniture and computers. All brand new and all replaced every few years. As you sit in the waiting room marvel at the big screen TV . WHY? WHY do es ICBC feel the need to spend our money to entertain us. Check out various other ICBC perks. Sports tiks for employees. Great contracts with big pensions. WASTE gone wild. Why does ICBC act as a bill collector for other quasi gov organizations? All of these govenmant orgs should be closed down when the core review is done. The core review should be able to come up with enough savings to fund transit for the next 100 years.

    As far as political parties hearing the people, those days have gone forever. The parties listen to big buisness and big unions. Whos is the bigest buisness ? Why its the public service all three levels. Who is the biggest union? Why its the public sector unions.
    SCREW the people and pander to your own.

  • 25 nonconfidencevote // Jun 29, 2013 at 8:53 am

    Well I certainly won’t be holding my breath for what calls its self “media” in this town to report anything remotely controversial towards the current Liberal govt.
    Something about “biting the hand that feeds it” comes to mind.
    Case in point, Friday June 28th 6pm “news” on Global. No mention of Christy and her current “campaign”. No mention of the latest BC Hydro financial screwup. No mention of epic miscalculations within the Provincial Budget .

    But we did have a 2 minute segment on some sick little girl with a Facebook page getting it to see Taylor Swift………

    Good to know the media is focussed on “important” issues such as Taylor Swift and her “private audience” with sick kids rather than the gutting of hospital budgets, school budgets, parks budgets, etc., etc., ect.,

    If it wasnt so seriously pathetic, it might be amusing.

    As the old bumper sticker once said, ” Dont blame me, I voted NDP”

    (Response: Actually, Global DID have the Hydro story on THURSDAY when the figures came out and it was raised in the House by Dix. But like you, I would like to see a lot more follow on this story …so it doesn’t just get forgotten. I suspect for that we’ll have to wait for the newspapers to do it. h.o)

  • 26 Jason Angulo // Jun 30, 2013 at 6:42 am

    The government had no idea until *after* the elections about the cost-overrun? Funny, they said the same thing about the size of the deficit that led them to bringing in the HST during the previous election. Two elections in a row, eh? Sad thing is as proven with the most recent election, the people won’t hold the Liberals accountable to their actions.

    (Response: I can’t keep up with all the people who have told me they held their noses and voted Liberal. What this province REALLY needs, and the reluctant Liberal voters have shown, is not JUST an alternative to the Liberals…but a free-enterprise-supporting alternative. h.o)

  • 27 RS // Jun 30, 2013 at 8:09 am

    Hydro Bill: Oh? You mean there’s mountains ‘n’ rocks ‘n’ cricks ‘n’ trees ‘n’ stuff?

    (Responses: Wait till they notice there’s creeks to cross, with endangered species, too! 🙂 This project’s overruns could set a new record … displacing Montreal’s Olympic Stadium! h.o.

  • 28 ron wilton // Jun 30, 2013 at 8:19 am

    BC Hydro is no stranger to the lieberal party.

  • 29 r // Jun 30, 2013 at 9:45 am

    Change name from smart meter to not so smart meter.And by the way how much money have they saved so far.?

  • 30 Sean Ciroc // Jun 30, 2013 at 5:14 pm

    Thx HO for uncovering this cover up by the Lieberals!

    Its sad hearing these clowns justifying charging seniors $25 a month for wheelchairs while giving themselves FAT bonuses (ops we got caught!). They are a despicable bunch and I cannot understand why Globore News(oh look BC – there’s a cat up a tree) and other trickster so called ‘media’ are not breathing down CC’s neck!? If it was Adrian – watch out. They would be on him like a vulture in the Sahara desert!

    And whats with this ‘after the election’ nonsense! They are stealing a page right out of the NDP’s post election announcements(had they won).


    (Response: I’ve already suggested a number of ideas for follow up stories to go after with the Premier, the Energy Minister, Hydro and all the companies involved to get to the bottom of this farce. SOME COMPANIES will cash in for an EXTRA $340 MILLION in work/revenues!!! And I’m sure the local newscasts are ALL pursuing it …by scanning the Vancouver Sun every morning to see if they’ve found anything out yet. h.o)

  • 31 Barry // Jun 30, 2013 at 7:28 pm

    “You’d be surprised how many people in the Kelowna area have defended this cost overrun because of the jobs it’ll create.”
    I guess those “free enterprisers” in Kelowna have finally discovered the joys of “socialism!” Way late, but what the heck, better late than never.

    As long as it’s now OK to go into hock [despite what Madam Premier preached during the election] how about some more of that “Job Creation.” Let’s see—affordable housing for the middle class, a decent transit system, a world-class education system from K to post secondary, maybe making sure the seniors who built this wonderful province don’t have to live out their lives being nickel & dimed to death.

    But then again how many of the beneficiaries of such programs would donate to the Liberal party?

  • 32 Larry Bennett // Jun 30, 2013 at 7:42 pm

    13 – I have always said that I would vote for any party that gets rid of ICBC. The fact that they insure, register and license every vehicle in the province, and their latest hook-up with the Motor Vehicle Branch and now are in cahoots with the police who go about stopping people without cause, and charge them with all kinds of B.S. for NOT being impaired. They have put thousands of men and women out of work, especially in the North.
    But every time the government looks at their books, despite numerous instances of malfeasance, and see the money involved, the parties all back off getting rid of this monstrosity.

    (Response: Clearly you don’t remember the AWFUL days of “free enterprise” car insurance…when rates were sky-high and there was about as little real competition as there in now in the price of gas. And dare to make a claim…and you’d be sorry you did for about 20 years! ICBC can be improved …and any profits should be used to lower rates … but getting rid of it soon be regretted. h.o)

  • 33 morry // Jun 30, 2013 at 10:41 pm

    @Larry Bennett …s o wrong on so many counts. You wish to throw out the baby with the dirty bath water. Rethink what you wrote

  • 34 Larry Bennett // Jul 1, 2013 at 7:51 am

    I was there Harvey, and I remember! At 16 I could afford to buy my own insurance, and I had a choice what kind, if any, I needed. Now it was argued then that many people w/o insurance could not be made to pay for damages they may have caused, but there was the courts. And anybody who believes that ICBC satisfies all their customers, has not dealt with them. Perhaps as an investigative reporter you can look into the thievery committed by ICBC and their agents, and a quick overview of the wages and benefits afforded them. (Not to mention the managerial costs)

  • 35 Larry Bennett // Jul 1, 2013 at 8:22 am

    Morry – So wrong on so many points? So when was the last time you were pulled over w/o just cause? Were you “told” to blow into some useless hand-held contraption w/o the option of being taken to the office to use a half decent contraption?
    Was your license taken and were you fined some outrageous amount because you refused to do what some snot-nosed kid with a gun, told you as he searched your car 3 times for — what? Neither was I, but there are class action suits now in progress, for these attacks against innocent citizens. On the other hand, maybe Morry works for ICBC or some towing company that is making a killing on these fascist policies?

  • 36 13 // Jul 1, 2013 at 8:41 am

    I dont get it. If ICBC is the best insurance you can be forced to buy why wont they allow wide open competition. If private insurance cant compete with government subsidized monopolistic insurance then so be it.
    At least take away all of the ability for ICBC to act beyond car insurance sales. No hook up with air care. No hook up with bridge tolls and parking tickets. No hook up with road side vehicle inspections. No ability to deny someone a drivers license due to unpaid ICBC bills. Why not allow BC Hydro to dictate where you buy your household appliances.
    I guess the thought of using ICBC as a way to fund translink is just to much for a good socalist to overlook. Oh well at least when ICBC writes off your car they allow another ICBC employee the option of picking it up for a song.

    BTW I am old enough to have bought private insurance. I had a Harley stolen and was paid promptly for the loss. I had an accident at age 16 driving an uninsured vehicle. The insurance company my dad used covered me anyways. So my memories of pre ICBC arent so horrific.

    (Response: It’s quite simple. Insurance works by spreading the risk/costs over a wide range of users. I’ve NEVER had a driving claim where I’ve been responsible… but realize, although Roadstar, pleasure only driving, senior, claims free, I pay for those who are. If we had private competition for basic coverage… I’d get a terrific LOW rate from private companies. But that’s just it, private companies would SKIM the best with predator rates and then outrageously charge the rest or refuse insurance at all…leaving us at risk out there on the streets…or just the worst to ICBC to cover. Of course, ICBC would soon go broke ensuring only the lousy drivers …and then, SURPRISE, the private companies would raise ALL our rates outrageously …thanks to almost no competition …just like it used to be before we sent them packing. ICBC is not perfect…but I’ll take it over Allstate or Wawanesa!! h.o)

  • 37 ron wilton // Jul 1, 2013 at 9:38 am

    I have to go with Larry on ICBC.

    I recently returned to BC from Ottawa where my insurance (co-operator’s) was $535.00 for 18 months, $50.00 deductible comprehensive, $250.00 deductible collision.

    Same coverage here in Kelowna is $780.00 for 12 months, $200.00 deductible comprehensive and $500.00 deductible for collision.

    (Response: I’d bet Ottawa’s claims rate, MUCH smaller city … where snow slows down traffic to barely a crawl or just fender benders five months a year, is much lower than Vancouver. And you’re probably like me…read my response to 13 … we’d get better rates. BUT younger drivers, new families, those who drive to work, those with even one claim …are totally ripped off … or pay so much, they only have minimum coverage (not good if YOU are injured). h.o)

  • 38 13 // Jul 1, 2013 at 10:49 am

    On the other hand , Harvey, maybe the thought of competition would cause ICBC to downsize its MAMOTH work force. Steamline its claims proceedures. Stick to selling insurance and leave the costs of debt collection to the debt collectors.

    They could close every second claims center or rent out space to the private insurance companies. The claims centers in Vancouver could also rent space to bicycle storage and repair for one of moonbeams goofy schemes

  • 39 R // Jul 1, 2013 at 12:26 pm

    Of media etc