Is there anything more laughable than a politician trained in nothing providing direction to executives of the province's $14-billion dollar monopoly insurer. Speaking to ICBC, British Columbia's chief law officer "delivered a firm reminder that there has been a public backlash to recent revelations about compensation for Crown executives."
In the past, we've seen that words fall easily from the mouth of Shirley Bond. Her main qualifications for government was service as a small city School Trustee and the backing of mentor Doug Walls, then a troubled Prince George car dealer who was also a relative, friend and confidante of Gordon Campbell, at least until Walls was convicted of fraud, the point at which the Premier could no longer remember knowing him.
In one of the sad injustices of the Campbell regime, the leader imposed Walls on Minister of Children and Family Development Minister Gordon Hogg, identifying him as a valued ally who was to be kept comfortable. Shirley Bond assured Hogg that she had great confidence in the man's ability and his integrity. Oops. When Walls left in disgrace, Hogg also took the fall, despite being the politician least involved in this corruption. He continued to be elected and his colleagues provided recognition by selecting Hogg to chair the Liberal caucus after they gave Campbell the bum's rush.
Remember when Shirley Bond cracked down on the brass at BC Ferries? Expect about the same when it comes to ICBC.
Who knows if the A.G. ( I wish I were joking with that title) actually believes what she says. Perhaps she thinks that wagging her finger in the press is how one leads a complex operation. It didn't work with BC Ferries but, maybe it will work with ICBC. We'll see.
One thing is certain though. Bonuses will be paid. Think about it. They're running a monopoly insurance company selling liability insurance that every driver in the province must buy, by law. They can set rates at whatever level it takes to earn a profit but even that is irrelevant because the ICBC accountants have reserves for reserves and they can even defer their deferrals and come up with a paper profit. It's a well practised art where they build wiggle room into wriggle room.
Of course, you say, executives don't earn full bonuses unless they meet their targets. That brings forward a simple question. Who set the targets? Well, the executives who take home the bonuses set the targets. It works the same way at PavCo where the top folks earn regular bonuses despite unending financial losses from operations. Amazingly though, they always make their targets.
When I despair, I remember that all through history the ways of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants, and murderers, and for a time they can seem invincible, but in the end they always fall. Think of it--always.
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