BC Attorney General – ICBC Does Not Have A "Meat Chart"
Last month ICBC withdrew many settlement offers on open claims and replaced them with lower unrealistic offers which were not tied to judicially established legal principles but rather internally designated criteria. The media dubbed this strategy the “meat chart” which appears to be resulting in fewer settlements and more claims now clogging the courts. BC’s Attorney General, the man in charge of ICBC, has now come out and taken offence to the meat chart label and has outright denied its existence.
In a lengthy exchange with MLA Michael Lee BC’s Attorney General asked the opposition member to not call ICBC’s strategy a ‘meat chart‘ and said ‘they do not have a meat chart‘. Here is the full exchange as recorded in Hansard:
M. Lee: Well, I appreciate that we’ve had a great opportunity to have those discussions, in this House, between the Attorney General and myself. That’s partly because, I think, of the complexity of the roles. I will just conclude by saying that, specifically, the concern is over the multiple roles that the Attorney General carries. One is the responsibility to be the chief legal officer for this province, advising the Premier and the cabinet. The role that he played during the referendum, for example, comes to mind.
The second, of course, in no particular order, is the minister responsible for ICBC. As these changes are coming forward, does the Attorney General look at these changes through the lens of cost containment, as the minister responsible for ICBC, or through the lens of being the chief legal officer to this province, ensuring that individuals’ rights are protected?
There is, of course, great concern in terms of the need for expert reports, the manner in which this meat chart policy that ICBC now has…. There was a report that the Attorney General brought out in early January or December. That was the litigation review, which showed no systemic concern. At least, that was the headline. But clearly there was a change by ICBC coming forward, in terms of how they managed their litigation process.
These are the topics that, I think, are quite concerning, in terms of the pattern right now, of the way this has been approached, in the face of the concerns from members of the legal community. I look forward to discussing that further with the Attorney General in estimates and at other opportunities. I do thank the Attorney General today and the members of the ministry staff for that opportunity to have this discussion.
Hon. D. Eby: I can’t let go unchallenged the member’s suggestion that ICBC has a “meat chart.” They do not have a meat chart. That is incorrect; the member knows it’s incorrect. He shouldn’t repeat it.
That’s the end of my closing statement. I thank the member for his questions on the supplementary estimates, and I thank my staff for assistance.
ICBC has not been faring well in Court since their new strategy kicked in. I can appreciate politicians looking to distance themselves from it but to outright deny that a new policy has kicked in when assessing the claims of injured British Columbians is a turn for the bizarre. I will continue to report on judicial outcomes of recent cases as they come before the courts.