Government takes ICBC’s profits for itself

ICBC is a profitable corporation, but it wasn’t designed to be the government’s cash cow.

Editor: The person who wrote to your paper (“Time to Privatize ICBC,” The Times, May 8) about the situation at ICBC had one thing right: drivers are paying too much. As a matter of fact, that’s what our union, which represents approximately 4,000 workers at ICBC, has been saying for over a year.

ICBC is a profitable corporation, but it wasn’t designed to be the government’s cash cow. Precisely because ICBC is public, it has better coverage at lower rates than private insurance in other provinces. It’s also made effective investments in improving safety, making roads less dangerous and rates cheaper for everyone.

So when the government raids $1.2 billion of the profits, it has a real impact. Drivers end up paying more and workers who have been without a raise since 2009 are left behind. All our union is asking for is lower rates for drivers and a fair and reasonable deal to stop our members falling behind the cost of living. We are committed to negotiating and to not taking job action that would inconvenience the driving public.

The government doesn’t need to privatize ICBC. They just need to start managing its profits correctly.

Jeff Gillies, vice-president,

Canadian Office and Professional Employees Union, Local 37

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