Ont. finance minister knew 2014 election would challenge auto insurance promise

TORONTO -- Ontario's finance minister was hard-pressed Monday to explain why he continued to declare publicly that the government would meet an election pledge to cut auto insurance rates despite being aware that keeping the promise would be challenging.

See Full Article

The Liberal government failed to cut auto insurance rates by 15 per cent by its self-imposed deadline of August 2015 -- a promise that was part of a deal to get NDP support for the 2013 budget when they were still a minority government.

Premier Kathleen Wynne said last week that her government "always knew it was a stretch goal."

The opposition parties said this was news to them, as the government consistently held out the promise as an achievable one.

When asked about Wynne's "stretch goal" comments Monday before a cabinet meeting, Finance Minister Charles Sousa noted that the 2014 election delayed the passage of legislation the government said would reduce rates for drivers.

"The moment we came into an election, the moment the delays were occurring, we knew that we were going to have challenges," he said Monday.

But when the government introduced the legislation aimed at tackling insurance fraud and inflated towing costs in July 2014, following the election that gave the Liberals a majority, Sousa insisted the 15-per-cent goal could be met by the following August.

In October of 2014 Sousa again said the target could be met.

When the legislation passed the next month, Sousa still spoke of the August 2015 goal and did not suggest it couldn't be met.

The second-quarter rates for 2015 were posted in July and had only declined on average by 6.46 per cent since August 2013. Sousa said the plan to tackle auto insurance fraud and reduce costs was working, but the government wanted to "go even further."

"Our reforms have sent rates lower on average over the last two years and there's more to do to reduce rates by 15 per cent on average," Sousa said, with no mention of it being a "stretch goal."

On Monday he called it "an ongoing issue."

"It's not at any one point or one date that matters to me, it's just the ongoing ability for us to reduce the cost of claims to further reduce our insurance premiums," Sousa said.

NDP critic Jagmeet Singh said the election only delayed the business of the legislature by little more than a month.

"That doesn't explain the 2 1/2 years," Singh said.

"If something is a priority the government can do it. They haven't made reducing premiums a priority."



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Skyrocketing gas prices leave Cavendish, P.E.I., tourism operators struggling to find staff

    Canada News CBC News
    Business owners in P.E.I.'s largest seasonal resort area are hoping for a busy summer following two years of COVID-19 restrictions — but many are struggling to find staff for the upcoming tourist season. Cavendish, on P.E.I.'s North Coast, is known for its white sand beaches, coastal trails and campgrounds. Source
  • Chelsea Poorman's father says Vancouver police lied, mishandled investigation into daughter's disappearance

    Canada News CBC News
    The father of Chelsea Poorman says police lied to him and mishandled his daughter's case from the moment she was reported missing 20 months ago to the announced completion of their investigation in late April, when they categorized her death as not suspicious. Source
  • Utah boy dies after being buried under sand dune at state park

    World News CTV News
    SALT LAKE CITY - A 13-year-old Utah boy has died from his injuries a day after a sand dune he was digging in collapsed and buried him at a state park, officials said Monday. The boy had been digging a tunnel into the dune at southern Utah's Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park when it collapsed on him Saturday evening, park rangers said. Source
  • B.C. company reports no survivors found in refuge chamber after Burkina Faso mine flood

    World News CBC News
    B.C.-based Trevali Mining Corp. says none of the eight workers missing since the Perkoa Mine in Burkina Faso flooded a month ago were able to reach an underground refuge chamber. The company, headquartered in Vancouver, says rescue workers, who have been working 24 hours a day to remove water from the mine, reached the refuge 570 metres below ground but found it intact with no one inside. Source
  • Biden condemns 'poison' of white supremacy in visit to Buffalo after mass shooting

    World News CBC News
    U.S. President Joe Biden on Tuesday condemned the "poison" of white supremacy and said the nation must "reject the lie" of the racist theory espoused by the shooter who killed 10 Black people in Buffalo. Speaking to victims' families, local officials and first responders, Biden said America's diversity is its strength, and warned that the nation must not be be distorted by a "hateful minority. Source
  • Ukrainian family fleeing war arrives in Saskatoon after a nearly two-month wait

    Canada News CBC News
    Tetiana Chudiiovych fled Kyiv shortly after the Russian invasion and made her way to safety in Italy with her two children. After almost two months of waiting for visas, the family arrived in Saskatoon over the past weekend. Source
  • Many Canadians feel gun violence getting worse in their communities: poll

    Canada News CTV News
    Many Canadians say gun violence is increasing in the communities they live in, with residents in major cities and the country's largest provinces mostly reporting such views, according to a new survey from the Angus Reid Institute. Source
  • Haida Gwaii community moves to restore Indigenous name

    Canada News CBC News
    A Haida Gwaii community is one step closer to restoring its traditional Indigenous name. The Village of Queen Charlotte, located on the southern end of Graham Island in the archipelago off B.C.'s North Coast, was given that name in 1908 by white settlers. Source
  • 'The Russians are determined': Ukrainian soldiers defending Donbas city try to keep up morale under fire

    World News CBC News
    In most of Ukraine, Russia's war effort is slowing down, its forces losing ground after they pulled out of the north and the capital, Kyiv. But in Lysychansk, 700 kilometres east of the capital, that is all a world away. Source
  • Gas theft up 76% in Sask. to start 2022: RCMP

    Canada News CTV News
    Gasoline thefts in Saskatchewan are up 76 per cent in 2022 compared to the same time period last year, according to a recent RCMP report. There were 178 fuel thefts reported to Saskatchewan RCMP between January and April 2022. Source