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Delta wants ICBC to lay off the lawsuits
Delta Mayor Lois Jackson wants ICBC to stop naming local governments in its lawsuits unless there is “clear liability” on the municipality’s part.
The Corporation of Delta is bringing up the issue at the upcoming 2013 Union of B.C. Municipalities convention Sept. 16 to 20.
The resolution asks the provincial government to work with ICBC “to ensure that local governments are only drawn into litigation when there is clear liability on their part.”
“This is all taxpayers money, and what’s the point of taking it out of the left pocket and putting it in the right pocket? We’re taking it out of municipal coffers and put it in ICBC coffers,” Jackson said. “It’s just too costly, makes no sense, and I think people should stay within their jurisdiction.”
She said that for Delta, the issue was sparked by a case that she can’t speak to right now because it is still before the courts.
Jackson provided a hypothetical example where an impaired pedestrian crosses a street in the middle of the night without going to a corner or crosswalk and is struck by a car.
“ICBC could very easily enjoin the Corporation, saying that we didn’t provide enough signage or enough crosswalks or enough something,” she said.
“This is the criticism that we’re leveling at ICBC… If after investigation it’s found that it was quite blatant that the municipality was liable, whether it’s a hole in a bridge or something very blatant, then that’s one story. But just as a blanket, to enjoin local municipalities because they can and because they want to mitigate their costs and put it onto the taxpayer is not on for us.”
At the time of the interview, Jackson could not provide the exact number of lawsuits Delta has been named in by ICBC in the past few years, and their cost to taxpayers.
The UBCM resolutions committee has endorsed the motion. If it’s passed at the convention it will be forwarded to the province.