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Northern B.C. communities lobby for fairer vehicle insurance rates

Resolution to be brought forward to UBCM convention in September
Northern communities, including Fort St. John, are lobbying for equitable insurance rates for vehicles in the north.

The City of Fort St. John is hoping one of its motions at this week's North Central Local Government Association convention will gain some traction in Victoria.

Labelled as the 'Regional ICBC Rate Inequities' resolution, it's been combined with similar concerns raised by the communities of Williams Lake and Smithers. 

They're lobbying the province and auto insurance corporation to consider a different rate class for vehicles in the north, as well as subsidies for winter tires and the elimination of windshield deductibles.

The resolution was unanimously passed by NCLGA delegates May 5.

“It's a realization that we live in different circumstances than the rest of the province," said city councillor Gord Klassen. “There needs to be recognition that it's a whole different situation than down south. Whether it be the amount of traffic, the type of traffic, or the type of incidents that happen.”

While there has been some consultation with the province in the past, the idea appears to have stalled.

“I think its mainly being brought forward to bring their attention to the matter and say, you know what, just take a look,” adds Klassen. “Our hope is that they'll work with us as local governments on all these issues, not just this one. They'll say, hey, you guys know what's happening on the ground."

"Bring us to the table. Let us be part of the conversation.”

The resolution will now be forwarded for debate and a vote at September's Union of BC Municipalities convention in Whistler. 

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