April 16, 2007

Consumers’ Association to file complaint over ICBC sponsorship of Olympics

Vancouver, British Columbia – The Consumers’ Association of Canada has announced it will file an official complaint with the B.C. Utilities Commission, regarding sponsorship of the 2010 Olympics by the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC). The Association says that ICBC, which has signed on as an official sponsor for the 2010 Olympics, will use insurance premiums to subsidize the insurance cost of vehicles that will be used during the Games.

“Our Association supports the Olympics, but we do not support applying a hidden tax on motorists to pay for it,” says Bruce Cran, president of the Consumers’ Association. “On the one hand, we have ICBC paying millions of dollars in bonuses to its staff, and now millions more in subsidies to the Olympics. While they are doing this, ICBC year after year keeps raising auto insurance rates.”

The Association plans to send a letter of complaint to the B.C. Utilities Commission, requesting that the cost of subsidizing the Olympics be rejected in the next rate review hearing.

“This is just another way for the B.C. government to move the cost of the Olympics off its books and onto the backs of B.C. motorists,” Cran says. “What is even more disturbing is that both the ICBC and the government are keeping the value of their donation a secret. These funds are coming out of the pockets of auto insurance premiums, and motorists have a full right to know how much they are being gouged.”

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