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Liberal-NDP Coalition Lie to Ontarians about Auto Insurance

(August 30, 2013) Ontarians have been lied to yet again. This time it’s over the Liberal-NDP budget assertion of a 15% reduction to auto insurance.  While the Liberals gave into the NDP demand to lower auto insurance rates in order to save their own political hides in last spring’s budget negations, it has turned out to be nothing more than a scheming publicity stunt to which both parties are now backpedaling.

 

Mere months after making the promise to reduce auto insurance rates, Liberal Finance Minister Charles Sousa has fessed up to reveal that the Liberals will not be following through with their NDP budget pledge any time soon. That’s right, despite all the hoopla that went on in the last parliamentary session, Ontario drivers are still stuck paying some of the highest auto insurance premiums in Canada.

 

The empty promise from the Liberals is yet another notch in their belt reaffirming their deceitful tactics and the lengths they will go to stay in power.  We’ve seen it with the gas plant scandal; with the lies that they will not raise taxes or increase the debt; with the notion that they will respect the views of rural Ontarians; and now we are seeing it again here.

 

The peculiar part of it all is that the NDP doesn’t seem to care that the Liberals are breaking another promise. In fact, in an internal briefing note the NDP ‘accidentally’ sent to media they advise staffers to play down that the Liberals have broken a promise at all.

 

The PCs have consistently said that the Liberal-NDP deal on auto insurance never offered anything substantive. The motion the NDP put forward merely identified a symptom of a problem that we are all aware of, but they provided no real plan to make it happen.

 

In fact, based on evidence the NDP demand to flat out reduce premiums by 15% has shown to have a reverse effect.  Just look at what happened in New Jersey in 1998. The state implemented a similar policy by demanding a 15% premium reduction. While rates initially came down, it resulted in many insurers leaving the market and eventually led to an availability crisis. With such high demand for insurance and such low supply available, premiums spiked by nearly 30% erasing any gains made. 

 

So why would the NDP so strongly campaign for such a shoddy policy change and then not care about the Liberals implementing it? To me it calls into question the validity of the whole deal—good headlines for the NDP and the Liberals get their budget passed.

 

The bottom line is that Ontarians want action and not empty promises.  Tim Hudak and the Ontario PCs are the only party that have an actual plan on paper for auto insurance reform with proven results. Our ideas address a number of systematic problems that include eliminating red tape; encouraging competition; increasing accountability of insurers; eliminating fraud; and, fixing the dispute resolution process.

 

We need to get to the root of the problem to ensure a fair, efficient, and affordable market for auto insurance in Ontario. Similar reforms have proven successful in other jurisdictions. New Brunswick streamlined its regulations six years ago and has since experienced a four percent decline in premiums. Illinois, which shares many Ontario attributes, has also cut its regulatory burden and experiences some of the lowest premium levels in all of the United States.

 

We need a government that we can trust. Premier Wynne and NDP Leader Andrea Horwath have proven that they are more interested in partisan games then our province. To see our ideas for auto insurance reform please click here .

 


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