Sunday, April 06, 2008


'Unrelated' ICBC resignation unbelievable


Michael Smyth
The Province

Trying to figure out Paul Taylor's "coincidental" resignation as boss of ICBC is sort of like kicking the tires on one of their chop-shop write-offs -- or attending one of the insurance monopoly's rigged auctions.

There's a lot more going on here than meets the eye of the average sucker.

{Snip} ...

But if you still think Taylor's departure is "completely unrelated" to ICBC's little chop shop of horrors out in Burnaby -- well, I know an ICBC insider who can get you a heckuva deal on a rebuilt Yugo (as long as you're not picky about things like working air bags).

Completely unrelated? Give me a freaking break. The public has been ripped off. ICBC insiders have benefitted from a shabby scheme usually reserved for grifters and sharpies.

Most disturbing of all is the possibility illegally rebuilt vehicles have been hustled to unsuspecting B.C. drivers without the proper safety checks.

There's more than a monopoly's corporate reputation on the line here. People's lives were possibly put at risk so ICBC insiders could line their own pockets.

And now the CEO is strapping on his parachute and hitting the silks during the crisis? Very impressive.

They can call it "completely unrelated" if they want. I call it an abdication of duty. Taylor should be promising the public that he'll get to the bottom of this extremely disturbing scandal and take his lumps if he's found ultimately responsible.

Instead, he's running away. And his corporate and political masters have nothing but praise.

Premier Gordon Campbell stood by his man, as usual. And I had to laugh when I heard ICBC chairman Richard Turner insist: "Paul Taylor did not quit under a cloud."

(This was immediately reminiscent of Attorney-General Wally Oppal's now-famous line about Ken Dobell, after he agreed to plead guilty to lobbying charges: "Who says he's under a cloud?" Guess these guys will never become meteorologists.)

While the captain abandons ship, the public is left without full confidence the scandal will be fully and independently investigated.

Solicitor-General John van Dongen has refused to release ICBC's interim investigation of the chop shop. He refuses to say if anyone has been fired, suspended or otherwise disciplined. He refuses to release the terms-of-reference for the new investigation under way by the accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers.

This from a government that has secretly changed terms-of-reference instructions in the past to protect themselves from scrutiny.

Oh, and by the way: PricewaterhouseCoopers is already the in-house auditor-of-record for ICBC and has made millions in contracts from the insurance monopoly. How can their investigation possibly be considered "independent" in light of that?

Instead of offering half-baked apologies to the public or praising a CEO that quits when the going gets tough, it's time for Premier Campbell to show some real leadership here: Release all the information that's currently being kept secret and order a genuinely independent review of this unseemly mess.

Michael: I admire your spirit. Well said. - BC Mary.


April 17, 2008 Update:

RCMP to Launch Full Investigation of ICBC Scam

By 250 News
Thursday, April 17, 2008

Vancouver, B.C. - There will be a full RCMP investigation into the recent ICBC scandal which saw nearly 100 damaged vehicles repaired and later resold without proper disclosure and documentation.

ICBC handed over all the information it had on the matter, to the RCMP for review.

The RCMP Commercial Crime Section has conducted a review of the information package provided, and as a result has determined that a police investigation is warranted. The aim of this investigation is to ascertain whether or not any offences have been committed.

Meantime, ICBC has implemented changes as a result of the scandal. The changes include requiring all employees and managers to immediately refer any allegations regarding employee behaviour concerning fraud or theft to the employee relations department.

Surprising facts noted in passing, from

ICBC's zero tolerance for fraud saves motorists $75 million

In 2006, 104 fraud-related convictions were laid against 69 defendants

B.C. motorists saved more than $75 million in 2006 thanks to ICBC anti-fraud programs. Savings are based on the estimated value of fraudulent claims which were denied, money recovered and savings generated through fraud prevention.

"The rising cost of claims is a concern for ICBC. Cracking down on fraud is one of ICBC's strategies to keep rates low and stable," said Steve Tripp, manager Fraud Prevention and Investigation. "We will not sit back and simply pass the cost of fraud onto our customers."

ICBC's anti-fraud efforts led to 104 convictions against 69 defendants, last year. More than $207,000 was paid back to ICBC in restitution and fines in 2006, up from $73,000 in 2005. And there was a significant increase in jail time. ICBC fraudsters were sentenced to a total 2,087 days behind bars in 2006.

Annually, ICBC invests approximately $8 million in fraud prevention and investigation programs, more than most property and casualty insurance companies in Canada. Last year, ICBC's team of close to 90 investigators and staff conducted approximately 3,000 investigations covering all types of suspected fraud including: staged collisions, exaggerated claims, premium fraud, licensing and identity fraud.

The general public is also a helpful resource in cracking down on potential fraudsters. ICBC's anonymous tip line recorded over 10,000 calls last year. Anyone with information on a suspicious, exaggerated or fraudulent claim is encouraged to phone 604-661-6844 or 1-800-661-6844. Information provided to the fraud tips line is confidential and callers can remain anonymous.


Express Collision Shop Said,


Elections BC has some interesting donors on the liberals latest money pit. Now, to be fair I will go over the NDP's pit also.

Today, I will just name a few that may concern a few bloggers.

It seems every lobbyist in BC has donated. Many liqour stores have donated, some absurdly. Many development companies. New car dealers and friends and families are keeping the libs in good shape. A few notable audit firms? A prominent pollster? Law firms who like to keep up with the work load. Etc.

One of interest lately is Naikun Wind Energy Group Inc donated $4,700. Something to do with Hecate, I suppose. Paul Taylor should investigate that large donation next month.

A few of KPMG companies donated a whack of money.

A certain lawyer who looks after an ex MLA who could be a witness.

Black Press Group. Whats up with that?

Patrick Kinsella and Progressive Holdings and Strategies. Over $30,000 big ones. What the heck does this guy do? His wife should give him an earful.

A mayor from the Burbs $2,500 evergreen ones. Strange.

Too many #numbered companies to count.

And so on. Keener eyes may find more.

Keep eyes posted on ICBC scandal. It seems that they have been sponsoring ? a few strange apples.
Express Collision Shop Said,


See Question Period last Thursday and today Monday.

There is a short article on the Tyee called "Can MLA's Be Kept Honest?" I will reread tomorrow when I stop laughing. The other day a fellow collision friend stated that these are sad times in BC with all these politicians and ICBC managers in trouble with the law. He said some people get into trouble with the law when they are in thier teens or early twenties, these characters are in thier 30's,40's,50's and even 60's. Sad but true. A good question in light of all the lawyers involved with the liberals lately. See above regarding law firms and audit companies absurd donations. I can't remember the last time there was no talk about another scandal in question period.
Gary E,

Message received but not published.

Thanks for the heads up.

Good luck.

Express Collision Shop Said,


Interesting article in the Sun this morning re Wind farm up at Hecate.(Business page f1)


You can read all about it on BC Government's website at the Enviromental Assessment Office. The submissions are quite a read. This is a claasic David and Goliath. The locals have been having a very rough time getting balanced media attention regarding this project. Only now that the ex CEO of ICBC is going to head this slick company, that any media from Vancouver has contacted stakeholders. Stay tuned for more on Lobbypalooza part ?
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