Ex-cabinet minister named ICBC chair

Barry Penner's appointment comes as the Crown agency prepares its final arguments for a 5.5 per cent rate increase

Barry Penner has been in private law practice since retiring as B.C. Liberal MLA for Chilliwack before the 2013 election.

Former B.C. environment minister Barry Penner takes over as chair of the Insurance Corporation of B.C. at the end of March.

Penner’s appointment comes as ICBC prepares its final argument for a 5.5 per cent rate increase that it started charging in November. The increase raises the cost of basic insurance by about $3.70 per month for the average driver, and still needs approval by the B.C. Utilities Commission.

Citing rising costs from personal injury claims and fraud, ICBC proposed a maximum 6.7 per cent increase. The province gave the Crown corporation permission for a one-time transfer of $450 million from its optional insurance business to subsidize the basic rate.

“The B.C. government will continue to work with ICBC to identify and implement measures that will mitigate the causes of rate increases, to help ensure that ICBC insurance rates remain as low and affordable as possible,” said Transportation Minister Todd Stone, announcing Penner’s appointment Tuesday.

The B.C. government continues to take a share of revenue from ICBC optional insurance sales, where it competes with private insurers for collision and other coverage beyond the mandatory basic insurance.

The current budget calls for ICBC to transfer $95 million this year, $148 million next year and $130 million in 2018-19.

 

Just Posted

Gate House Theatre presents: A Suessified Christmas Carol

The play was an entertaining, amusing and engaging blend of the rhyme based story telling.

Bradshaw’s Photo Highlight: San Josef Bay

“I have always had an overwhelming desire to get to the sea stacks as soon as possible”

Port Hardy Rotary Club donates $8,077 to the Gazette Christmas Hamper Fund

The hamper fund raises food and donations for many communities in the North Island.

Oscar Hickes: The longest running hockey tournament on Vancouver Island has been cancelled

Patrick Murray, one of the organizers for the tournament, broke the sad news on social media.

Port McNeill council wants to see a plan on how to protect and invest tax dollars

“if we can make $40,000 or $50,000 in interest, why not, as it could reduce taxes”

VIDEO: Boys help rescue Cariboo bear cub

The cub, weighing just 24lbs, has been taken to wildlife sanctuary in Northwest B.C. for the winter

‘Things haven’t changed enough:’ Ecole Polytechnique anniversary prompts reflection

Fourteen women were fatally shot by a gunman at the Montreal school on Dec. 6, 1989

Bear raids freezer, gorges on Island family’s Christmas baking

Hungry bruin virtually ignored meat and fish, focused, instead, on the sweets

B.C. pharmaceutical company’s stocks double in value after successful lupus drug trial

More than 40 per cent of patients using voclosporin saw improvements in kidney function

Second warning on romaine lettuce from California region as another E. coli case reported

Two cases of E. coli have been reported in relation to the illness in the U.S.

Residents in B.C. city could face 133% tax hike in ‘worst case’ lawsuit outcome: report

An average home could see a tax increase of $2,164 in one year

B.C. Transit finds 28 used fareboxes online, saves $300,000

‘Someone joked maybe we can buy used fareboxes on eBay,’ CEO says

Many of Canada’s working poor can’t afford lawyers, don’t qualify for legal aid

One lawyer says many people earn too much to qualify for legal aid, but not enough to really live on

Economy lost 71,200 jobs in November, unemployment rate climbs to 5.9%

Jobless rate is at its highest since August 2018, when it hit 6%

Most Read