Editorial: smell the rot?

Editorial: smell the rot?

ICBC needs downsizing without huge payouts for top executives

It’s becoming clear, the NDP and the B.C. Green Party coalition government is hard up against the reality wall now.

Being on the Opposition benches in the B.C. Parliament Buildings is a lot easier than trying to run a big business like the provincial government.

B.C.’s coalition government has been fumbling away for the past year, handing out money on some of its feel-good election promises.

It has had a year to look at the gears and cogs in the government machine and should have seen there are some fractures. They should have been doing some maintenance and repair work in the first year in their mandate.

They obviously saw problems, turned a blind eye and moved on with some more comfortable, less-expensive legislation.

Meanwhile, the gears of government were grinding, squealing and clanking. The NDP and Green coalition needs mega bucks to grease those cogs that keep the government business moving smoothly. Now, they need money, jobs and solutions to keep B.C. growing, working and enjoying a decent standard of living.

That, dear reader, is the reason Premier John Horgan agreed to move forward with the Site C Hydroelectric Dam, much to the chagrin of his own caucus and the sheer disgust of the Green Party MLAs.

His coalition government needs money to pay for promised programs and to keep the province running.

Horgan and his cronies took that trip into the bowels of the B.C. Parliament Buildings and they saw that huge monster with the red eyes, large fangs and insatiable appetite wearing the ICBC name tag. They slammed the door shut and ran away to Asia to see if they could raise the liquefied natural gas golden goose from the ashes.

They were frantically trying to break another election promise in order to raise some more money to pour into government coffers. Quietly, Green Party MLAs are sharpening their knives.

Then the genie escaped from the bottle and on Jan. 28, ICBC announced the Crown corporation would lose $1.3 billion by the end of the fiscal year on March 1.

Possible solution offered: ICBC could cap payments on “minor injuries.” You’re broke, so you save money by cutting payouts, hmmm!

Of course, the already exorbitant insurance premium rates could continue to skyrocket to make more money for the fumbling Crown corporation.

British Columbians could pay their pound of flesh and the beast in the basement continues growing – not a winner!

The Office of the Auditor General needs to conduct an independent review of ICBC finances with an eye to clean up the mess and clear out the bureaucratic clutter that runs amok in the corporation divisions.

Ken Alexander

Quesnel Cariboo Observer