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Letters May 14: ICBC needs to provide adequate care for injured motorists; too-loud cars and motorcycles

B.C. Premier David Eby announces a rate freeze on ICBC’s basic vehicle insurance, at Hillside shopping centre on May 8, 2024. GOVERNMENT OF B.C.

Eby is buying our votes while service drops

Premier David Eby called the former ICBC system a “dumpster fire,” but the system has gone from bad to worse under the NDP government.

Injured motorists and passengers face far worse challenges than before Eby’s “dumpster fire” reforms. This system is an inferno that Eby’s government is hoping we will overlook for a $110 rebate.

If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident you probably know how the reformed ICBC system fails to deliver on its promises.

Injured motorists, passengers, and pedestrians are forced to pay for their own care at every turn, while the government buys votes instead of health care. Injured motorists are being mistreated, refused care and encouraged to resolve their claims prematurely by ICBC adjusters.

Most injured motorists are forced to navigate this system with no advocates, even when things go really wrong. Adjusters are not advocates, they are paid employees of the corporation and their job is to resolve each claim as time and cost efficiently as possible.

Imagine a motorist, passenger, or pedestrian who has sustained a brain injury or concussion.

Are you surprised to learn that ICBC does not have a policy to deal with this kind of injury? Or offer any support or assistance for folks with brain injuries to help them navigate accessing the care their insurance guarantees them?

In a system where lawyers have been kicked out and many of us don’t have family doctors, where does a person begin?

The system has changed, but not for the better when it comes to accessing care and helping people to recover and return to their lives.

Instead, we are stuck in a system where health-care providers refuse to book appointments without ICBC approval and ICBC refuses to provide approval without treatment plans from the health-care providers.

And we are somehow supposed to facilitate the communication between these systems ourselves without adequate support or information from either side.

This is not better. Eby should stop buying votes with rebates and reallocate this money to providing adequate health care for injured motorists, passengers and pedestrians.

Or consider reallocating the money to health care for all British Columbians, hire more medical staff, help us all get access to family doctors — but don’t try to buy our votes.

Matt Mortenson


Under Eby’s changes, ICBC plays God

Re: “B.C. woman awarded $1.4 million in accident damages,” May 10.

Interesting that this story comes out the week that Premier David Eby announced a rebate on ICBC premiums.

If the accident happened today instead of 2018, the injured woman would be denied her day in court under the no-fault insurance available from ICBC. Denial of justice is what it is.

ICBC simply plays God under the new rules brought in by Eby’s NDP. Same rules for ICBC claims as WorkSafeBC.

William Burns


Don’t forget who paid for that ICBC ‘gift’

How hypocritical of the provincial government to offer an ICBC rebate before an election. Premier David Eby proudly announced the “gift to B.C. drivers” — but he did not mention that the “gift” is our own money.

Daniel Nenzi


We pay the premiums, we don’t get coverage

ICBC is hoping to butter us all up with a refund cheque on the backs of those who have a legitimate claim for damages and injury but can’t get any payment for such.

I would think that in any other industry where it is compulsory by law to pay for and obtain a service under false pretences would be classed a fraud.

Can you imagine other monopolies such as B.C. Hydro contracting with us for service and then shutting the service off repeatedly and indiscriminately on a whim with no recourse or reason?

Mike Wilkinson


Loud vehicle noise a problem downtown

We live in downtown Victoria. We understood before moving here that it wouldn’t be quiet.

Normal traffic noise is understandable. Now noisy political marches have invaded our space also. We accept them, begrudgingly.

But cars and motorcycles running extremely loud pipes and “mufflers” have moved in.

The sound is nowhere near being normal. It happens all day and well into the night.

It seems obvious that the police have either been instructed to ignore this, are understaffed, or there are no laws in place to enforce it.

What’s the deal?

Stephen Kishkan


Raeside’s health cartoon was not in good taste

The recent Raeside cartoon depicting a mother signing up a five-year-old child for a prostate exam in the far future was in bad taste and ridiculous and tacky.

Our health care is not what it should be but it is better than most places. Raeside should have stayed retired.

Serafina Lowe


Teen’s transit project is an inspiration

The May 7 story about Atticus Dachsel Kerr, the 17-year-old who catalogued information about transit routes in Greater Victoria, was such a great story of determination, imagination, intelligence and more.

The article made me happy to know that the days of innovation are not dead.

I wish this boy were my grandson. I would be so proud of him for his imagination and fortitude in riding all those bus routes with the intention of gathering information and seeing his perspective on bus travel.

Shirley Anderson


Let’s all celebrate the pipeline completion

All the people who tried to stop the TMX pipeline failed. All the costly waste from protests are incredible.

When the first line was built nobody said a word and it has been running for 40 years. This is an economic boon for Canada and B.C.

I hope when everyone puts down the drums and protests they will realize this. And when everything is done, nobody will think about TMX 2 for another 40 years, except prosperity.

Time to sit down and raise a glass to TMX.

Ken McKay


Infrastructure needed to combat addiction

Re: “Consider evidence and experience in the war on drugs,” letter, May 11.

This contributor articulates the issues relating to the critical situation concerning the overdose crisis. However, two other key considerations are important.

First, acknowledging that addiction is too often linked to other contributing factors: homelessness, mental health and poverty.

Second, acknowledging that our province has a hodgepodge of support services scattered across its geography that are not consistent or well-organized, nor are they easily accessible or understood. They are not adequate to meet the challenge of rehabilitation and treatment.

Governments have no hesitation in building hospitals, clinics, and other related acute-care health-related facilities. However, it appears that they are unable to accept that drug addiction and mental health are also acute medical conditions that warrant more than a fragmented approach to treatment, support, and access.

Like our numerous acute-care hospitals, children’s hospital, women’s hospital, and the cancer agency, we need to build the necessary infrastructures to facilitate access to consistent and safe treatment/rehabilitation on a province-wide basis.

It is the right thing to do for those challenged with addiction, and other concurrent health-related issues.

John Stevenson


Actually, our efforts will make a difference

I have tried to rein in my propensity to write a letter to the Times Colonist when either a story or a letter from a reader sends me into orbit! I had done pretty well of late, until a letter on Friday got the best of me.

It said “nothing Saanich or Canada does will make the slightest difference to the climate.”

I am trying to find a nice word to describe someone with an attitude like that. I can’t find one. I am less hopeful for my grandchildren’s world with moronic thoughts like that. How sad.

Ted Daly


Rex Murphy’s writing will be missed

It was with great sadness that I read of the passing of Rex Murphy. He was intelligent, articulate and fearless, never adapting his writing to accommodate current “woke” opinions. He will be sorely missed.

Sandra Levy


Nothing is ever free, not even transit rides

Let’s get rid of the word “free” from politicians and bureaucrats. It is a damn lie.

I would have all government employees that use the word fired and their pensions removed; the truth is “taxpayer funded.” If people want to donate money, fine, but for me no more.

In the case of transit, more than 10 years ago, a single bus ride cost $9.70 but riders were only paying $2.25.

If we continue on the free lie, soon there will be no more middle class and then where does the money come from?

Dennis Bourne


Good luck, Doncaster, with the road changes

Re: “Creating Thunder Road on ­Doncaster Drive,” letter, May 8.

I have lived in the Northridge area of Saanich for almost 40 years. A couple years ago, Saanich re-did Vanalman Avenue, which is the main road that passes through our neighbourhood. There are about 170 homes with five streets that feed onto Vanalman.

Saanich put four giant speed bumps into this kilometre of road. Speed bumps are a huge carbon producer due to the acceleration out of the bump. Saanich also narrowed all five feeder streets onto Vanalman. The narrowing can pose safety problems.

When traffic is light the narrowing is not an issue. As soon as there are two or more vehicles wanting to enter or exit onto Vanalman then things can snarl.

Sometimes you have to stop on Vanalman to allow vehicles to exit. This is dangerous, and it stops the flow of traffic. All done in the name of traffic calming.

Many residents were/are not happy with the changes. During construction, the Saanich transportation department would not listen to my suggestions on safety. Mayor and council would not comment on my concerns.

The clear message was: go away, insignificant taxpayer. Your opinion does not count.

We were detoured, detained and sometimes denied access to our driveways for 15 months.

Brian Masuch


Thanks, David Sovka, for writing about flowers

Re: “Say it with flowers,” column, May 5.

I laughed ’til I cried when reading the piece by David Sovka about “saying it with flowers.” Priceless!

I hereby send him a metaphorical “arrangement of lupins, hollyhocks, white heather, and ragged robin” (complete with the Oxford comma) to thank him for his wit and for making my day.

Deborah Walker


Affordability has many factors

The May 9 Raeside cartoon might look funny but has a deep philosophical meaning. It is obvious that municipalities see the taxpayer as an ATM, where they can withdraw funds without making deposits.

I can never understand the reason for increasing municipal taxes disproportionately to inflation and other cost of living expenses.

Who regulates how much property tax can be increased?

On one hand, the federal and provincial governments announce projects leading to “affordable housing” and, on the other hand, the municipalities want to ensure that housing is not affordable. That is a Catch-22!

It is becoming difficult to maintain houses for new buyers as well as seniors who are on a fixed pension. The governments need to make a coordinated effort to not only provide affordable housing to families and seniors, but also ensure that people can retain houses as well.

Affordability is an all-round issue that includes food, clothing and shelter. Any one less affordable aspect of it will drive people out of unaffordable cities.

Thank you, Raeside, for touching an issue that is not funny anymore.

Mano L. Sandhu



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