Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

MPI's folly

  • Print

Manitoba Public Insurance is a government monopoly with the job of insuring motor vehicles, but it frequently behaves like it wants to be a social agency.

The Crown corporation is charging ahead with its goal of using ratepayers' money to make the province's roads safer for motorists on the grounds it will reduce accidents and injuries, reducing rates in the process.

MPI says it will provide evidence of the connection between safer roads and fewer accidents at its next rate application before the Public Utilities Board this fall.

Actually, the insurer can save its breath. Of course safer roads reduce insurance costs. No one denies that. Safer roads will also lower costs of emergency services and the health-care system and reduce traffic delays that cost motorists and business millions of dollars. It will also save families from grief, funerals, automobile repair bills and so on.

The argument is so persuasive, in fact, that perhaps MPI should consider funding research into eye disease, dementia and any ailment that could impair a driver's ability.

The real question, however, is who should pay for safer roads and how?

MPI says the volume and value of insurance claims will decline under its plan, but the idea is fraught with perils and the facts are prone to abuse and manipulation.

Under Autopac's model, it will be easier for the province and city to reduce their responsibilities for infrastructure, which should be funded by income taxes and levies on property and gas.

If the Public Utilities Board approves MPI's plan, it will create a new cookie jar for the government to pluck. Over time, it will become difficult to determine an authentic actuarial profile, which should be based solely on ordinary insurance principles.

Editorials are the consensus view of the Winnipeg Free Press’ editorial board, comprising Catherine Mitchell, David O’Brien and Paul Samyn.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition March 21, 2013 A14

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Winnipeg Cheapskate: Cheap summer weekends

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Challenges of Life- Goose Goslings jump over railway tracks to catch up to their parents at the Canadian Pacific Railway terminalon Keewatin St in Winnipeg Thursday morning. The young goslings seem to normally hatch in the truck yard a few weeks before others in town- Standup photo- ( Day 4 of Bryksa’s 30 day goose project) - Apr 30, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • BORIS MINKEVICH / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS  070527 The 21st Annual Teddy Bears' Picnic at Assiniboine Park. The Orlan Ukrainian Dancers perform on stage.

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Should political leaders be highly visible on the frontlines of flood fights and other natural disasters?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google