Horwath decides a better deal can be had; how can the government just drop the cost of car insurance.

By Ray Rivers

BURLINGTON, ON.  May 9th, 2013.   You know the feeling.  You have just ordered fish and chips and the waiter sets down a juicy hamburger for the guy at the next table.  You recall the price was the same and wish you’d ordered differently – then your fish arrives and you want to ask the waiter to change it for the burger.  That’s Andrea Horwath.  She demanded poorly from Kathleen Wynne, in the provincial budget, and now she’d like to order again.

 Take the 15% cut in insurance rates.  I didn’t think that could happen.  Aren’t the rates set on the basis of claims, as they’ve always told us?  Are we going to have 15% fewer accidents this year?  Possible, but I doubt it.  So that means we’ve been paying at least 15% more a year than we should have.  And look at your insurance bill.  Why are we paying for accident health coverage in a province with universal OHIP?  Talk about being over-insured.

 New Zealanders have true no-fault auto insurance.  They understand nothing is risk-free.  So if you are on the highway and have an accident, the biggest insurance pool in the country, the government, takes care of you – but you can’t sue a third-party for personal injuries.  I bought a used car there and my yearly insurance bill was $99.00.  Why can’t we do that here?

 The NDP platform on car insurance, when Bob Rae became the first Dipper Premier, was to nationalize it.  But he chickened out – wouldn’t do it then.  Has the NDP dropped the idea entirely, or did Andrea think it was too much to ask, and wishes she had now?  I mean BC, Quebec and Manitoba – all have variations of public auto insurance for their people – and they pay lower premiums.  Why are we fattening the big insurance companies?   Keeping that money in our pockets would be like a tax cut.  A good way to stimulate the economy.

 But the best we can do is fifteen percent, this time.  Horwath made her play and now she’s not so sure.  She’s hiding in her office, waiting to hear from… who?  You’d think she would have done that before she made her ask on the budget.  Now it is just about stalling, checking if the chips, which came with her fish, are salty enough before she slips one into her mouth.  But they are getting cold as she hesitates, pretending she’s not really all that hungry.

 Horwath is in a pickle.  The Liberals need her far more badly than she ever thought, and Andrea now wishes she’d asked for more – because she probably would have got it.  But she didn’t – so it’s time to lift her knife and fork and dig into that plate she ordered.  Act like the adult you want people to think you are, if you expect them to make you Premier some day.  Take the deal you demanded and make it work – then maybe, next time, be a little more careful about what you order up.

Ray Rivers writes weekly on both federal and provincial politics, applying his more than 25 years as a federal bureaucrat after which he decided to write and has become a  political animator. Rivers was a candidate for provincial office in Burlington where he ran against Cam Jackson.



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1 comment to Horwath decides a better deal can be had; how can the government just drop the cost of car insurance.

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    I agree with your assessment of Horwath. She reminds me of Ontario beer which tastes like cat piss. If you want to improve your market share you tinker with a name change, a change in the shape of the bottle, a new label, but the contents are still the same old cat piss — that never changes. That is the NDP.

    However, electorally there is a problem in this province. If Hudak doesn’t catch fire sufficiently then the possiblility of another minority Liberal government looms large and, while I am not impressed with Horwath, I am equally unimpressed with Wynne who brought reglious dogma back into the public schools with “mosqueterias”, in violation of settled law, and who has now lifted her nightie and shown us that a vote for the Liberals will end up being nothing more than a vote for the NDP. What a choice the hapless residents of Ontario face!

    We are all for lower insurance premiums, but are we also for lower payouts on claims? People who are seriously maimed in car accidents require years of specialized and expensive care that is not all covered under OHIP. The reason state-run plans offer lower premiums is because the state seriously limits the amount of the payout one can claim, no matter how serious the injury. There are no free lunches, my friend.