How I.C.B.C. Discriminates Against Drivers Born Out-Of-Province

(I.C.B.C., which holds a monopoly on car insurance in BC)

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The full text for UN Global Migration Compact is RIGHT HERE.

Please sign this: PETITION E-1906 CLICK HERE

UN GMC Challenged In Calgary Fed Court, 300-635 8th Ave SW.
Case File: T-2089-18. Filed December 6, 2018.
CLICK HERE for more information.
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(1) Some Background Information About the Issue
(2) Written Response From I.C.B.C. Staff
(3) Written Response From I.C.B.C. Lawyer Alandra Harlengton
(4) What The Constitution Says On The Matter
(5) About The Case: Canada Egg Market Agency v. Richardson, (1998) 3 S.C.R.
(6) The Limitations Act
(7) Would This Work In Court?

(1) Some Background Information About the Issue

The Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (I.C.B.C.), is a government crown corporate that holds a legal monopoly on automobile insurance in the province. Although additional coverage is available privately, those wishing to legally drive must buy the $200,000 3rd party liability insurance through I.C.B.C.

Needless to say, since this is a government monopoly, there is no incentive to operate efficiently, or to provide good service. Even so, they routine post huge losses. No worries, just jack up rates on the drivers. It’s a captive market. They can complain, but there is no avenue of recourse.

But this article is about a specific grievance: that I.C.B.C. has different rules for drivers when it comes to calculating the base rate, SEE HERE. In short, new drivers start at a CRS of zero ”0”, and it is adjusted up or down depending on whether you have accidents, or drive claims free.

But here is the difference:

(a) A BC-born driver immediately begins accruing years of ”claims free driving” as soon as he/she gets a license. No experience or skill is required. If you got a license at age 16, but don’t get insured until age 30, you would begin at -14, or the maximum 43% discount.

(b) A driver born in another province who moves to BC is subjected to different rules. Here, you don’t get ”claims free driving” for mere possession of a license. You can get up to 8 years from another jurisdiction, but only for time which you actually held insurance. If you came from Ontario, Alberta, Saskatchewan, etc… you may have had a license since age 16, but will still start at 0 when you finally get insurance.

Note: should you move to BC a a year or more prior to getting insurance, that time will be considered ”claims free driving”.

Since simple possession of a BC license means ”experience” and of ”claims free driving” then actual experience is irrelevant. It is this double standard that is illegal.

(2) Written Responses From I.C.B.C. Staff
From Customer Service Rep Catherine Dixon:

”…Under the CRS system the maximum discount on compulsory basic insurance is 43 per cent, and that discount percentage applies to policies that reflect nine or more claim-free years. If you, as a new resident with a 40 per cent discount, stay claims-free for one more year, you will have the best discount on Basic, which is three percent more than the out of province entry point.

“New residents” are defined as customers whose auto insurance history with insurers is outside British Columbia or when they return to British Columbia after an absence of more than eight years. Since January 1, 2001, new certificates of ICBC insurance issued to new residents are subject to the following:
Each full year of being claim-free represents a five per cent discount on the base premium up to a maximum of 40 per cent.
The maximum discount allowed is level -8 (40 per cent) effective the ICBC history start date.

When a customer has been outside of British Columbia for more than eight years, ICBC follows the Basic Insurance Tariff, which has the force of a Regulation in the province of British Columbia. The Tariff outlines that ICBC will start from the date of the application for insurance and count backwards the number of “full chargeable claim payment free years” to a maximum of 8 years. The Tariff states that a new resident applying for a discount must provide verification letters from each previous insurer documenting a continuous record of the applicant’s coverage history. This history is a maximum of eight years and must immediately precede the date of the application for insurance in British Columbia. The Basic Insurance Tariff can be found on ICBC’s website: http://www.icbc.com/about-icbc/company-info/Documents/bcuc/basic-tariff.pdf#search=Tariff.

Information on moving to British Columbia can be found on the ICBC website, at: http://www.icbc.com/autoplan/moving-insurance/Pages/Default.aspx.

Ms. Dixon confirms in writing that out of province drivers are subjected to different rules.

While she is careful to avoid expressing saying ”double standard”, she goes on at length to explain how I.C.B.C. treats non-BC born drivers differently. She is also careful to avoid answering the question of Sections 6 (Mobility) and 15(1) (Equality) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Those will be addressed later.

CLICK HERE, for Basic Insurance Tariff

(3) Written Response From I.C.B.C. Lawyer Alandra Harlengton
From I.C.B.C. Lawyer Alandra Harlengton

“….The distinct roles of ICBC and the British Columbia Utilities Commission
1.
Section 2 of the Insurance (Vehicle) Act, R.S.B.C. 1996, c. 231, provides that, if the Insurance Corporation Act authorizes ICBC to operate a plan of universal compulsory vehicle insurance, ICBC must operate the plan of universal compulsory vehicle insurance in accordance with the Insurance (Vehicle) Act and regulations.
2.
The Insurance (Vehicle) Act provides ICBC the authority to establish classes and subclasses of vehicles and drivers of vehicles, and basic premiums that apply to those classes as well as premium discounts and additional premiums based on, among other things, the accident record of the owner or driver: Insurance (Vehicle) Act, ss. 34(1) and 35.

3.
The Utilities Commission Act, R.S.B.C. 1996, c. 473, applies to and in respect of ICBC’s rates for basic insurance as if it were a public utility, except where expressly precluded under the Insurance Corporation Act.

4.
The British Columbia Utilities Commission (the “Commission”) is a statutory body continued under s. 2 of the Utilities Commission Act.

ICBC and the Commission have distinct but interrelated roles. The Commission may determine and set adequate, efficient, just and reasonable standards, practices or procedures to be used by ICBC in providing universal compulsory vehicle insurance and may order ICBC to comply with those standards, practices or procedures: Insurance Corporation Act, s. 45(2).

ICBC must make available universal compulsory vehicle insurance in a manner, and in accordance with practice and procedures, that the Commission considers are in all respects adequate, efficient, just and reasonable: Insurance Corporation Act, s. 45(1).

The Commission may exercise its powers and duties under the Insurance Corporation Act in relation to ICBC’s provision of universal compulsory vehicle insurance, but not in relation to the provision of insurance to any one customer: Insurance Corporation Act, s. 45(5).

The rates to be applied to applications for basic insurance premiums are approved by the Commission pursuant to s. 46.2 of the Insurance (Vehicle) Act, ss. 44 and 45 of the Insurance Corporation Act, ss. 58 to 60 of the Utilities Commission Act, and the Special Direction IC2 to the British Columbia Utilities Commission, B.C. Reg. 307/2004, which provides direction to the Commission regarding ICBC.

9.
The Insurance (Vehicle) Act specifically confers jurisdiction on the Commission to approve, require replacement of, or to override and replace, classes and subclasses of vehicles and drivers, basic premiums, additional premiums, and discounts for universal compulsory vehicle insurance: Insurance (Vehicle) Act, s. 46.2.

10.
The Special Direction IC2 to the British Columbia Utilities Commission, as amended, provides that, subject to certain exceptions, the Commission may not determine rates based on age, gender, or marital status (s. 3(1)(i)). Under the Insurance Corporation Act and Utilities Commission Act, an insured’s driving history is not a protected ground.

As part of its mandate, the Commission is empowered to inquire into, hear and determine any application by or on behalf of any interested party or on its own motion regarding whether ICBC is administering the universal compulsory vehicle insurance in a manner that is adequate, efficient, just and reasonable. Upon doing so, the Commission may make an order granting the whole or part of the relief applied for or may grant further or other relief, as the Commission considers advisable: Insurance Corporation Act, s. 45(2); see also, Utilities Commission Act, ss. 2.1, 58, 72, 99 to 105.

The rates for basic insurance premiums contained in the Basic Insurance Tariff
and applied to the plaintiff were approved by the Commission, after ICBC received a direction from the Province of British Columbia to prepare and implement a basic insurance rate design plan that required ICBC to, among other things, retain the CRS until at least the 2011 rate year.

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ICBC cannot charge a rate for universal compulsory vehicle insurance other than the rates approved by the Commission. The Utilities Commission Act stipulates that rates approved by the Commission are the only lawful enforceable, and collectable rates of ICBC for universal compulsory insurance, and no other rate may be collected, charged, or enforced: Utilities Commission Act, s. 61(3)…”

It is interesting that Ms. Harlengton goes on to ”deny” that there is any double standard of how non-BC born drivers are treated. She very explicitly denies this.

She then spends a lot of time ”justifiying” why this double standard exists, citing the: 1/ Basic Insurance Tariff; 2/ Insurance Corporation Act; and 3/ Utilities Commission Act.

Here’s the thing: when you start explaining why a double standard exists, you are no longer denying the double standard. Rather you are justifying it.

Logically, once you start justifying an action, you are in fact admitting that action.

As an example: Suppose a robber breaks into my home, and I shoot him to protect my family. I then call the police. I am not denying that I did the shooting, but rather, am justifying or explaining why it happened.

Justifying involves admitting the underlying facts.

And again, if all one needs for claims-free driving is a BC driver’s license, then actual experience is not needed. So a license from any province should be suitable.

(4) What The Constitution Says On The Matter

Enforcement of guaranteed rights and freedoms

24. (1) Anyone whose rights or freedoms, as guaranteed by this Charter, have been infringed or denied may apply to a court of competent jurisdiction to obtain such remedy as the court considers appropriate and just in the circumstances.

So, if you believe that other constitutional rights are being violated, under Section 24, you may seek a remedy in the courts. In this case, BC Supreme Court is the place

Note #1: Even though the Civil Resolution Tribunal covers very small amounts, they will not get involved in any case that involves a government body.

Note #2: Although Small Claims Court would be suitable for small amounts, they will not get involved in cases that involve questions of law.


Mobility of citizens
6. (1) Every citizen of Canada has the right to enter, remain in and leave Canada.

Marginal note:Rights to move and gain livelihood
(2) Every citizen of Canada and every person who has the status of a permanent resident of Canada has the right

(a) to move to and take up residence in any province; and

(b) to pursue the gaining of a livelihood in any province.

Marginal note:Limitation
(3) The rights specified in subsection (2) are subject to

(a) any laws or practices of general application in force in a province other than those that discriminate among persons primarily on the basis of province of present or previous residence; and

(b) any laws providing for reasonable residency requirements as a qualification for the receipt of publicly provided social services

Note, there is a specific case Canada Egg Market Agency v. Richardson, (1998) 3 S.C.R., that addresses this issue, but in an unrelated case. That will be covered in the next part.

I.C.B.C also violates Section 15(1), Equality.

Equality Rights

Marginal note:Equality before and under law and equal protection and benefit of law
15. (1) Every individual is equal before and under the law and has the right to the equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination and, in particular, without discrimination based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability.

Before anyone gets fussy, the wording means this list is not exclusive, and may include other grounds.

Furthermore, the Canadian Constitution is supreme over these provincial acts I.C.B.C. relies on. Here are 2 more sections, 32 and 52:


Application of Charter
32. (1) This Charter applies

(a) to the Parliament and government of Canada in respect of all matters within the authority of Parliament including all matters relating to the Yukon Territory and Northwest Territories; and

(b) to the legislature and government of each province in respect of all matters within the authority of the legislature of each province.

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Primacy of Constitution of Canada
52. (1) The Constitution of Canada is the supreme law of Canada, and any law that is inconsistent with the provisions of the Constitution is, to the extent of the inconsistency, of no force or effect.

Marginal note:Constitution of Canada
(2) The Constitution of Canada includes

(a) the Canada Act 1982, including this Act;

(b) the Acts and orders referred to in the schedule; and

(c) any amendment to any Act or order referred to in paragraph (a) or (b).

Marginal note:Amendments to Constitution of Canada
(3) Amendments to the Constitution of Canada shall be made only in accordance with the authority contained in the Constitution of Canada.

(6) About The Case: Canada Egg Market Agency v. Richardson, (1998) 3 S.C.R.
CLICK HERE,

for the case of: Canada Egg Market Agency v. Richardson, (1998)

49 Section 6 of the Charter states:

Mobility Rights

6. (1) Every citizen of Canada has the right to enter, remain in and leave Canada.

(2) Every citizen of Canada and every person who has the status of a permanent resident of Canada has the right

(a) to move to and take up residence in any province; and

(b) to pursue the gaining of a livelihood in any province.

(3) The rights specified in subsection (2) are subject to

(a) any laws or practices of general application in force in a province other than those that discriminate among persons primarily on the basis of province of present or previous residence; an

(b) any laws providing for reasonable residency requirements as a qualification for the receipt of publicly provided social services.

(4) Subsections (2) and (3) do not preclude any law, program or activity that has as its object the amelioration in a province of conditions of individuals in that province who are socially or economically disadvantaged if the rate of employment in that province is below the rate of employment in Canada.

The scope given to these words has significant implications for the exercise of the federal and provincial powers enumerated in ss. 91 and 92 of the Constitution Act, 1867, respectively. This context makes it necessary to consider carefully the purpose and role of the mobility section, and of the Charter itself in our constitutional order. The necessity of returning to first principles is heightened by the scarcity of both jurisprudence and academic commentary on s. 6.

(a) The Nature of the Right

50 The specific sections of the Charter raised in this case are s. 6(2)(b) and s. 6(3)(a). A preliminary problem is whether the two paragraphs should be read together as establishing a single right which is internally qualified, or whether, alternatively, the first paragraph establishes a self-contained right which is externally qualified by the second paragraph. Section 6(2)(b) guarantees the right to “pursue the gaining of a livelihood in any province”. Section 6(3)(a) then dramatically narrows the ambit of that right, making it subject to laws of general application in the province, except those which discriminate against individuals “primarily on the basis of province of present or previous residence”. In our view, it is impossible to ascertain the purpose of the extremely broad statement in s. 6(2)(b) without importing the limitation contained in s. 6(3)(a).

51 In Malartic Hygrade Gold Mines Ltd. v. The Queen in Right of Quebec (1982), 1982 CanLII 2870 (QC CS), 142 D.L.R. (3d) 512 (Que. Sup. Ct.), the relationship between the two paragraphs is explained according to the following dialectic, at p. 521:

[TRANSLATION]

(a) The principle: The right to pursue the gaining of a livelihood in any province;

(b) The exception: This right is subject to any laws or practices of a general application in force in that province;

(c) The exception to the exception: Except if these laws discriminate among persons primarily on the basis of the province of residence.

On close examination, it will be observed that (b) almost entirely undermines the guarantee set out in (a); meaning, scope and purpose can only be attributed to (a) by reading it in conjunction with (c). The correctness of this general approach was recognized in both of the major Supreme Court decisions on s. 6, Law Society of Upper Canada v. Skapinker, 1984 CanLII 3 (SCC), [1984] 1 S.C.R. 357, and Black v. Law Society of Alberta, 1989 CanLII 132 (SCC), [1989] 1 S.C.R. 591.

Although the circumstances of the case are quite different than I.C.B.C. and auto insurance, the principle outlined here still applies.

(a) The principle: The right to pursue the gaining of a livelihood in any province;

(b) The exception: This right is subject to any laws or practices of a general application in force in that province;

(c) The exception to the exception: Except if these laws discriminate among persons primarily on the basis of the province of residence.

Here, the principle would be the right of any Canadian citizen to move to any province, including that of British Columbia.

The exception would be that all those wishing to drive must go through I.C.B.C., regardless of what their previous insurance rules were.

The exception to the exception is that drivers new to BC would not be subjected to the ”moving to BC” guidelines that I.C.B.C. lays out, since they financially punish drivers for the crime of not being born in BC.

Once more, since simply having a BC driver’s license counts as ”claims free driving”, then actual experience becomes irrelevant.

(6) The Limitations Act

What about illegal overpayments from a long time ago?

Division 1 — Establishment of Basic Limitation Period

Basic limitation period
6 (1) Subject to this Act, a court proceeding in respect of a claim must not be commenced more than 2 years after the day on which the claim is discovered.

(2) The 2 year limitation period established under subsection (1) of this section does not apply to a court proceeding referred to in section 7.

Admittedly, this is trickier. However, there are other things to consider (Note: a Court may not agree)

General discovery rules
8 Except for those special situations referred to in sections 9 to 11, a claim is discovered by a person on the first day on which the person knew or reasonably ought to have known all of the following:

(a) that injury, loss or damage had occurred;

(b) that the injury, loss or damage was caused by or contributed to by an act or omission;

(c) that the act or omission was that of the person against whom the claim is or may be made;

(d) that, having regard to the nature of the injury, loss or damage, a court proceeding would be an appropriate means to seek to remedy the injury, loss or damage.

Limitation periods extended if liability acknowledged
24 (1) If, before the expiry of either of the limitation periods that, under this Act, apply to a claim, a person acknowledges liability in respect of the claim,

(a) the claim must not be considered to have been discovered on any day earlier than the day on which the acknowledgement is made, and

(b) the act or omission on which the claim is based is deemed to have taken place on the day on which the acknowledgement is made.

(2) An acknowledgement of liability in respect of a claim for interest is also an acknowledgement of liability in respect of a claim for

(a) the outstanding principal, if any, and

(b) interest falling due after the acknowledgement is made.

Other possible arguments would involve that I.C.B.C. commits fraud (section 380 of criminal code) with their policies, or that it is a corrupt enterprise.

Note: These arguments, even if they fail, does not mean the claim would not be valid, just that a person couldn’t go further back to make a claim for over payment.

(7) Would This Work In Court?
Difficult to say, as Judges don’t always behave in consistent or logical ways. However, consider this:

THE FACTS are on the side of the non-BC born driver. I.C.B.C. admits they have different sets of rules. They justify them at great length, but then deny there is actually a double standard.

THE LAWS are on the side of the non-BC born driver. Sections 6 (mobility) and 15 (equality) are spelled out quite clearly in the Charter. Sections 32 (applicability) and 52 (supremacy) show that the constitution is supreme to other laws. Other laws that conflict have no effect and are unenforceable. To be fair, the Limitations Act may make older overpayments hard to collect on.

I.C.B.C. is proposing changing this rule anyway. SEE HERE. Among the new proposals would change the rules so that all you need is a driver’s license, regardless of province.Pretty hard to argue their current policies are justified.

Very interesting to see how this will play out in such a case.

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