Ontario election: Horwath targets car insurance rates during election campaign

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Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath responds to a question from the media, following an announcement that her party will cut car insurance rates by 40%, if elected, at a a campaign stop in Brampton, Ont., on May 11.Tijana Martin/The Canadian Press

Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath said Wednesday her party would overhaul the province’s auto insurance system, cutting rates by 40% and ending what she called “discrimination by code.” postage” which results in varying insurance rates.

“We have some of the lowest accident rates in the country, but some of the highest insurance premiums,” said the NDP leader, who made the campaign announcement at an auto repair shop in the downtown Brampton. Ms Horwath said her plan would be, on average, reduce insurance premiums for Ontarians by $660 per year. For Bramptonians, who pay some of the highest rates in the country, a 40% reduction could mean a reduction of up to $2,000 a year.

Instead of demanding an instant cut, the NDP’s proposal is to establish a commission that, over 18 months, would prepare a plan to overhaul the province’s entire auto insurance system. Ms Horwath said he would look at how insurance rates in other provinces are determined. During this period, insurance companies would be prohibited from raising rates. The time frame for the whole process would be two years.

“It’s $850 per year in Quebec, $1,600 per year on average in Ontario. Some drivers pay over $6,000,” she said of car insurance rates. “In places like Manitoba, Saskatchewan and British Columbia, they have significantly lower rates than ours.”

The former Liberal government pledged to cut car insurance rates by 15% in 2015, but fell short of that target.

The Insurance Bureau of Canada said the NPD’s plan would do little to help Ontario drivers save money. “These proposals would unfairly penalize drivers across the province and force them to subsidize the cost of high-risk drivers in other regions,” the BAC statement said, adding that a managed insurance system by the government would add billions of dollars to taxpayers. . “Government-run no-fault insurance systems also typically remove the right of those injured in accidents to sue for the care and support they need to recover.”

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Elsewhere during the campaign, Ontario Liberal Leader Steven Del Duca announced his party’s plan to address backlogs of surgeries and diagnostics with a $1 billion investment over the next two years. The money, said Mr. Del Duca during a stopover in Etobicoke, would help expand the hospital’s capacity and provide staff to perform MRI and CT scan procedures as well as operating rooms “at full tilt, evenings, weekends.”

The plan would create a centralized online reservation and recommendation system, he added, noting that the former would be a more efficient way to eliminate the backlog and the latter would make it easier for users to navigate the system.

Mr Del Duca said they would also ensure that maximum waiting times are ‘set and measured’.

According to the Ontario Medical Association, the pandemic has caused a backlog of more than 21 million patient services that could take several months to clear. This figure includes more than one million surgeries (as of the end of 2021), as well as cancer screenings, MRIs and CT scans.

Meanwhile, before heading to Barrie and Guelph, Ontario Green Party Leader Mike Schreiner was in Sudbury on Wednesday morning for an announcement about a proposed retrofit program that aims to address environmental and cost concerns of life.

The plan would provide families with household incomes under $100,000 with a grant of up to $20,000 for green home renovations, while households under $200,000 (but over $100,000 $) could get up to $15,000.

Another $2 billion would go to nonprofit and co-op housing providers to renovate buildings, Schreiner said, noting his party’s initiative could create 52,000 jobs.

After a leadership debate in North Bay on Tuesday night, Ontario Progressive Conservative Leader Doug Ford hadn’t scheduled any campaign events for Wednesday.

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