Exploring auto insurance reforms

There’s been a great deal of discussion recently about auto insurance rates in Ontario.
A large part of that discussion has been focused on one of two bills that have been brought forward to combat high insurance rates in the Brampton area—that being Bill 45 proposed by my caucus colleague, Jagmeet Singh.
Much of that discussion has been led by Bill Mauro, the Liberal MPP for Thunder Bay-Atikokan, who, rather than raise his concerns with Mr. Singh directly, has led a partisan campaign to discredit the bill.
What Mr. Mauro ignores in his attacks is the fact that Mr. Singh’s bill actually is an improved version of Liberal MPP Mario Sergio’s Bill 43, which would remove all regional considerations when determining auto insurance rates—meaning those living in Northwestern Ontario would see their rates lumped in with Toronto’s, resulting in a significant jump.
Since putting his bill forward, Mr. Singh has worked hard to ensure amendments made would not increase rates in our region, and he continues to be open to suggestions to improve his bill.
Unfortunately, it appears Mr. Singh’s critics are more concerned with partisan politics than with fighting rising premiums, which continue to go up despite changes made by the McGuinty government in 2010 that increased rates while significantly reducing insurance claim benefits.
I want to be clear about one thing in particular: under no circumstances would I ever vote in favour of a bill that would increase insurances rates in our region.
I hope you’ll understand my apprehension to accepting the Liberal’s claims, particularly when, if you look at both bills, the criticisms seem based on the content of Bill 43 and not Mr. Singh’s Bill 45.
That is why I support bringing this bill to committee, where it can be dissected by a myriad of experts and where we can impartially determine this bill’s effects.
If it is determined that this bill will have adverse affects on the north, I will not support it at third reading.
The point is my caucus recognizes that insurance rates across all of Ontario are too high, and we are best served by investigating the causes of the problem, particularly when previous attempts have failed to reduce the public’s frustration.
That is why we have spearheaded a review of auto insurance rates being charged across the province. This review currently is being conducted by the Legislative Committee on General Government.
With the ability to call witnesses, including insurance industry executives, we can expose the profits that actually are made by insurance companies in Ontario.
I am confident the committee will determine solutions that will enable us to bring forward comprehensive legislation to reduce the skyrocketing rates being charged across the province.