WATCH: The B.C. Liberal leader is preparing for a busy 2019. Elected in February, it took Andrew Wilkinson some time to raise his profile among British Columbians. But as Mary Griffin reports, the leader says he’s looking forward to the challenges ahead.
During a year-end interview, BC Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson said he’s focusing on ICBC in 2019.
“I think it’s a little more complicated. ICBC is a 45-year-old state-run monopoly. And our view is that it’s time to have a complete overhaul of ICBC,” Wilkinson said.
Earlier this month, the province announced a hike of 6.3 per cent in basic insurance rates, up 28 per cent over the past five years. Next September, ICBC will bring in an entirely new rate system.
Wilkinson said it’s time for a change.
“We’re not the only people in the world buying auto insurance. There are a dozen other models in Canada, from state-run to totally private. There are fifty U.S. states, New Zealand, Australia, the U.K. So let’s figure out the best way to do it is. So let’s figure out what the best way to do it is, and stop clinging on to ICBC as the only option we have.”
A key issue Wilkinson focused on after becoming a leader in February was the referendum on proportional representation. He and Premier John Horgan tussled over the issue during a televised debate.
“You won’t tell people how they work. you won’t tell people how they work.”
The results of the referendum were released Dec. 20, by Elections BC. BC’s Chief Electoral Officer Anton Boegman announced the results, “Of the validly cast votes, 61.3 per cent supported first-past-the-post. And 38.7 per cent supported proportional representation.”
That possibly increases the odds of an election in 2019, something he’s preparing for, especially in light of the upcoming Nanaimo by0election. The date for the by-election is still up in the air, but Wilkinson is hopeful they can steal this riding held so long by the NDP.
“So will there be an election in 2019? We don’t know but we’re doing very well in this Nanaimo by-election that is coming up,” Wilkinson said.
And Wilkinson knows that anything can happen, but he’s prepared for anything.