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Andew Wilkinson Visits East Kootenay With Focus on ICBC Rates

The leader of the BC Liberals was in the East Kootenay this week as he voiced his displeasure about ICBC and rate increases to young drivers.

Andrew Wilkinson visited Cranbrook on Wednesday to attend the Cranbrook Chamber of Commerce Luncheon while also making various stops in Invermere, Panorama, and Radium Hot Springs on Thursday. Wilkinson told MyEastKootenayNow.com that he tries to visit the East Kootenay twice a year and that this visit heard concerns from residents about ICBC.

“We get these stories of young people, usually under 30, having a car that’s worth less than their insurance now and so they’re getting boosts from anywhere up to $5,000, $7,000 in insurance premiums,” said Wilkinson. “This is crazy, who can afford that in their 20s when they’re trying to get through some education and have a part-time job?”

Wilkinson said they are calling out the BC NDP in a big way, believing that residents should have a choice when it comes to auto insurance, rather than having to rely on ICBC as their provider.

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“Our view is that you deserve a choice in auto insurance, whether that’s commercial competition like they have Alberta and Ontario, whether it’s other systems used across Canada, ICBC has never been copied anywhere in the world and why do we think it’s so wonderful? It’s not, it’s failing us, so it’s time to give people a legitimate choice in their auto insurance.”

The BC Liberals are promoting new “U” and “M” magnets for vehicles as a public way of showing people’s displeasure with the current ICBC model. The magnets stand for “Unhappy” and “Mad”, similar to ICBC’s “L” and “N” magnets for Learners and New Drivers.

Wilkinson said Simon Gibson originally came up with the idea as the Liberal MLA for Abbotsford-Mission. The BC Liberals are selling the magnets for $2 each to cover the costs of making them.

The entire premise of the campaign is an attempt to push the BC NDP to change the way auto insurance is delivered in British Columbia.

The “U” Unhappy magnet offered by the BC Liberals for residents to voice their opposition to ICBC’s current rate system. (Supplied by BC Liberal Party)
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