Dear AG Eby, Re: the ICBC - Alcyonenews

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Posted November 22, 2019

Dear AG Eby,  Re: The ICBC

Here I am again, because Democracy recognizes my right, (imposes a duty really) to address you when I have something to say; and it compels you to listen. Attentively!  And because Pythagoras reasoned conclusively that it is damnable to know that someone is erring and not apprise him/her of it.

Churchill said defeat is not final and the courage to continue fighting is what matters.  The recent decision by Chief Justice Hinkson blasting the capping of the number of expert’s reports now feeding the flames consuming ICBC, should be seen as a call to action to eradicate whatever caused that Court “decision” – be it an epidemic of corruption (e.g., the recent Dr Allan Posthuma parade), or whatever.

Sadly courts are increasingly seen erring and this becomes additionally disconcerting when Judges sit in a position of  “conflict of interest” and instead of recusing themselves, make rulings as if they are immune from succumbing to temptation. And that may be the case in this instance.  

A “right” decision, even if made for the wrong reasons, is welcome. Hinkson spared us the fate of suffering an ICBC worse than it is. This because half-measures tend to be worse than inaction. Compromise manifests ignorance or cowardice and results in mediocrity. Capping the numbers of “experts’ reports” in ICBC trials is a compromise between no-fault-insurance and the removal of the bad section of the ICBC feeding trough frequented by ambulance chasers.  

A well tuned no-fault-insurance scheme, is overall fair and is essential to reviving the maligned ICBC. Having lawyers with a personal stake in an trial outcome serving as “members of the court”, is a magnet for people who may exploit it for profit (qui prodest), and they swarm it causing the ICBC to burn.

A private insurer may be stingy so as to maximize profits. In contrast, ICBC is meant to be a trustworthy friend to citizens-in-need. Sadly, certain lawyers and their cousins on the bench have taken this away from us. Those who feed on it  make ICBC look like a raptor with spread talons hovering to snatch the relief from injured people and make the lawyers looking like St George lancing the ferocious ICBC.

It should be an exceptional instance that an ICBC settlement offer should end up in the courts. Yet, ICBC awards are routinely lugged to the courts, cushioned on expensive “experts reports”. Lawyers parade those before the courts quite “successfully” as evidenced by the flames now consuming the ICBC.  Cases settled out of court, are essentially gotiated not on their  merit but on  what the courts would likely award.

Who has not seen the scary ads on the rear of transit buses “counseling” people “to talk to lawyers before they talk to ICBC”...  

“Continency fee” is a euphemism for lawyers acquiring a stake in auto-accident victims claim. It is ethically reprehensible and highly conducive to ICBC woes. That is the cause of the euphemism and that is why they shelter the whole thing under the pretext of lawyer-client privilege. Getting rid of this aberration will keep many lawyers away.

I will reiterate, once again, the best way to make the ICBC the envy of those who do not have such a system: Split  the insurance premium on the Vehicle Fuel; the Vehicle Plate; and the Driver’s Licence, the apportioning of the premium to be calculated by actuaries. This is the fairest way to do auto-insurance. It shall remain so for as long as no one comes up with a better way. But this has not happened yet.

There is  more we can do to extinguish the fire now consuming the ICBC. Please, do ask the people for ideas.  We need an Ideas Bank forum to bring ideas to the fore.

I am calling on you AG Eby, to honour the legacy of Tommy Douglas, who fathered medicare for us. Because he was forging ahead, he had falls; but he never lost his spirit. When down he would draw on his Scottish heritage to quote Admiral Barton:

“I am hurt, but I am not slaine; – I'le lay mee downe and bleed a-while, –  And then I'le rise and fight againe.”

You have had  a-while to bleed, the time has come to rise and fight againe. “Stand up and fight like hell”. That is what you are AG for...

Don’t be a Chamberlain – the hour has come for a Churchill. Seize the opportunity, lay the issues before the Public Eye and the solution will emerge, then  gallop forth to Victory on the almighty Vox Populi. You have nothing to lose but what you do not want to lug further along.

Yours, pro bono,

Dr. Tom
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