Let’s Talk About Insurance

While Jason Kenney is running all over the province trying to convince UCP members he’s there for them, the actions of his government in the House last week tell a different story.

But before we go there, let’s play a game. I’ll say a word and you say the first thing that pops into your head.

Ready?

Reinsurance

Nothing? You don’t even know what it means? You didn’t demand Kenney get you some when he got elected?  

Okay, let’s try another one.

Car Insurance

Whoa, steady on! You don’t like the fact your premiums have jumped 10, 20, 30% or that the insurance companies pulled in $385 million more in premiums than they paid out in 2020 or that they made over $1 billion in profit last year.

Right, hold that thought while we take a brief look at reinsurance. The thing no one heard about back in Kenney’s promise, promise days.

Reinsurance and Bill 16

The Kenney government says oil and gas companies and the industrial sector are having trouble accessing reinsurance. So last week they tabled Bill 16.

Big companies buy three levels of insurance: primary insurance which kicks in first, excess insurance which tops up primary insurance when primary isn’t enough and reinsurance when both the primary and the excess insurance limits are exhausted. BP’s Deepwater Horizon well leak is the kind of loss that would be large enough to trigger a reinsurance payout.

Travis Toews Finance Minister

Reinsurance is provided by a number of insurance companies who are collectively responsible for the coverage. There are about 50 such companies around the world and with the Big Five (companies like Lloyds of London and Swiss Re) taking the lion’s share of the market.  

The Kenney government says these companies are less inclined to offer reinsurance to oil and gas companies because of the risks posed by climate change. Supply is scarce, prices are high and rather than let Adam Smith’s invisible hand determine how this will shake out, the government proposed Bill 16.

Bill 16 will (1) give the province the power to license reinsurance companies, (2) make it easier for Alberta insurance companies to access unlicensed reinsurance companies, (3) change the tax rate on premiums and (4) allow companies that have captive insurance companies elsewhere (these are a form of self-insurance) bring their captives back to Alberta.

The government hopes that as a result of Bill 16 the excess capital circulating in the oil and gas sector will be pooled by oil and gas companies to create local reinsurance companies.

One thing is for certain, Bill 16 has given Alberta’s insurance industry a new shiny toy.  

Which brings us back to our little game: Q: car insurance, A: Grrrr.

Priorities

We don’t know whether oil and gas companies that are enjoying windfall profits and benefiting from a 8% corporate tax rate will, as the government puts it, pool some of this capital to form their own reinsurance companies. We don’t know whether Alberta insurance companies will go hog-wild trying to be one of the global players in the reinsurance marketplace.

However we do know that the government went to considerable time and effort to create legislation that will give them the tools they need to seize this opportunity if they so desire.

The only stakeholder (to use the government’s vernacular) that the government did not take into consideration when it comes to insurance was ordinary Albertans.

Notwithstanding a deluge of emails from Albertans complaining about the increase in their car insurance premiums, the Kenney government did nothing to lighten the insurance burden for Albertans who are struggling with car insurance premiums that jumped by as much as 30%.

The NDP raised this issue in the House, pointing out that only 10% of the auto insurance companies requesting rate changes had asked for a rate reduction. The NDP asked how many more increases it would take before the Kenney government finally changed course.

Mr Toews ignored the question about the harm the UCP’s elimination of the cap has done to Albertans, stating that the NDP’s 5% rate cap would have led to the collapse of the auto insurance sector, allowing the NDP to nationalize it.

This echoed Jason Kenney’s comment that the NDP wanted to implement a “Soviet-style insurance system.” When NDP MLA Shannon Phillips told Kenney the conservative governments in Saskatchewan and Manitoba had public insurance systems, Kenney responded with some nonsense about Justin Trudeau’s (non-existent) truck tax.

Leaving aside the partisan rhetoric, actions speak louder than words. This week the UCP government demonstrated it will take care of big corporations and the insurance companies. The rest of us are on our own.  

Perhaps we need better lobbyists. Does anybody have Nick Koolsbergen’s number handy?

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34 Responses to Let’s Talk About Insurance

  1. Wendy in Edmonton says:

    Thank you Susan!! It’s good to know I’m not the only Albertan who read the news articles and the government press release at least 3 times and was still left saying “eh what” at the end. I used to keep a close eye on the insurance industry in Canada and Alberta, but not lately. Ergo, I was left musing to myself that perhaps the “Martians had indeed landed” to invest in these new entities. Do we still have a Superintendent of Insurance who might have an answer or at least a government memo? Let’s hope its not our provincial piggy bank that’s bankrolling these companies.! We can talk auto another day about auto insurance 😉 Keep up the good work.

    • Wendy, the press release announcing Bill 16 (reinsurance) was indeed bizarre. For one thing it implied that the new legislation would reduce insurance costs for ordinary Albertans. This is not the case given that it applies to big corporations that need millions and millions of dollars worth of insurance, and is utterly irrelevant for people like you and me. I read the NDP comments in the debate. They said it appears that Bill 16 won’t impose additional costs or risks on Albertans per se. I suspect all it’s really done is provided the big companies another way to reduce costs, something psponderings described below.

  2. Carl HUNT says:

    I read the earlier govt press releases about the new improved auto insurance and got half way through a gov’t survey (with leading questions) before I realized the benefits were for the insurance industry. I deleted my survey answers but knew it wouldn’t make any difference. If Albertans can’t trust the govt to protect the public interest, who can we trust? (Just to add a bit of humour).
    Thanks for explaining the benefits for the petroleum industry and large corporations, because I completely missed that Alberta Advantage!

    • Carl: You nailed it! The NDP spent most of their debate time talking about the negative impact of the UCP government lifting the 5% rate cap on auto insurance. At first I thought they were piggybacking the auto insurance issue on to the reinsurance issue. Then I realized they were demonstrating that the UCP government will move heaven and earth to keep the oil and gas and insurance sectors happy, but won’t lift a finger to limit skyrocketing auto insurance for the little guy. Why? Because the UCP’s priority is the business sector, not the little people.

  3. Dwayne says:

    Susan: Thanks for another great blog. The UCP isn’t making life more affordable for Albertans. This is another way they are doing it, on the insurance front, including with car insurance. The costs of the insurance goes up for people, while the overall quality of the services being rendered goes down. These insurance companies are making huge profits to boot. This also reminds me of when there was a debate in the Alberta Legislature on private versus public auto insurance in the Alberta Legislature. Ralph Klein was premier then, and he went on some bizarre deflection about Augusto Pinochet, a less than stellar leader of Chile, decades ago. Even one of the Alberta PC’s own MLAs, Brett Rathgeber, was not happy with Ralph Klein’s policies on auto insurance. With other matters, the UCP refuses to help homeowners in Calgary, who had damaged siding and roofs, in a summer hailstorm. The UCP were quick to help others who had flood damage to their homes in Fort McMurray. Why the disparity? The UCP is creating more and more burdens and hardship for Albertans, yet their corporate chums have their pockets well padded with money. Another matter, is when the oil prices come slumping down, how will the UCP compensate for their foolish corporate tax cuts, and pre election related bribery ploys? More cuts, just like Ralph Klein, who the leader of the UCP, and the UCP itself, thinks is wonderful. That’s likely. Since music is a good way to help cheer people up in these chaotic times, I’ll share some music from two British musicians, who are having their birthdays this month. One is Steve Winwood, who will be 74, on May 12. Steve Winwood is a multi instrumental talent, and was involved in music, since about age 8, when he and his older brother Mervyn “Muff Winwood”, played in their dad’s dance band. Here is something from around late 1963, when Steve Winwood was age 15. He is with the Spencer Davis R&B Quartette, and they are auditioning for DECCA Records. This is a cover of the Arthur “Big Boy” Crudup song, Mean Old Frisco. Steve Winwood is on vocals, and likely lead harmonica. Muff Winwood is on bass. Spencer Davis is playing the backing harmonica. Peter York is on drums. They would then become The Spencer Davis Group, who got signed to Island Records.

    • Dwayne, thanks for the music…I enjoyed the clips!
      Your point about Ralph Klein is very well taken. Klein was very receptive to insurance company advocates/lobbyists who successfully pushed for legislation that made life easier for insurance companies and more difficult for those who buy insurance. Just because we pay more doesn’t mean the insurance company is more responsive when we file a claim. They’re in business to make more in premiums than they pay out in claims. Kenney followed Klein’s lead and made it worse. As I said in the post, Kenney had no response when it was pointed out to him that the auto insurance industry (that he and Toews said was on its knees) made over $1 billion in profit last year. It’s shameful, really.

  4. Dwayne says:

    Susan: Here is my next song pick. This is The Spencer Davis Group’s song, Gimme Some Lovin’. Steve Winwood, Muff Winwood and Spencer Davis composed it. This is the American version, which features Steve Winwood’s future bandmates for the group Traffic, on background vocals and percussion. It’s based on a Homer Banks bassline. Steve Winwood’s keyboard skills and vocals are really amazing here. He was probably 17, when this was recorded, in 1966. His Hammond organ is being played through a rotating Leslie speaker to get that sound. Many of us remember American Bandstand on TV. This was from February 4, 1967.

  5. Dwayne says:

    Susan: My next song pick is featuring Steve Winwood’s next band Traffic, which was formed in April of 1967, after he left The Spencer Davis Group, that same year. It is a composition by his bandmate, Dave Mason, who turns 76 on April 10. This song was released in the summer of 1967, and became a big international hit. It is Hole In My Shoe. Steve Winwood, Chris Wood, and Jim Capaldi didn’t like this song, and Dave Mason left Traffic, before briefly rejoining the band in 1968. Actually, all four members of this group are multi instrumentalists. Chris Wood and Jim Capaldi have since passed away. Dave Mason’s sitar playing and Mellotron sounds, make this track shine.

  6. Dwayne says:

    Susan: Here is my final song pick. This is Steve Winwood doing a live version of the song he co-wrote with his Traffic bandmates, Jim Capaldi and Chris Wood, Dear. Mr. Fantasy. This is from Austin City Limits, in 2004. Steve Winwood can play many instruments very well, is a great singer, songwriter, and also a great producer. What he’s well known for is his keyboard skills, but his guitar playing is excellent too. He’s joined here by Randall Bramblett on Hammond organ and bass pedals, and Walfredo Reyes Jr. on drums. I saw Steve Winwood twice live, as the opening act for Tom Petty. Steve Winwood is in my music collection.

  7. psponderings says:

    Susan, in the olden days when I worked in the insurance industry in Alberta, it was common knowledge that the industry made their profits from investing the cas that they held as retained earnings, current income but mostly from the legislated reserves that they held. I wonder what changes have happened since then.

    • Psponderings: you make an excellent point. I worked in the energy sector and recall attending board meetings where the Risk Management group would go through the results of their negotiations with the Big 5 reinsurance companies. Every couple of years or so we’d hear that due to this catastrophic event or that catastrophic event reinsurance rates were climbing. This isn’t a new development and I wonder whether the Kenney government had the wool pulled over their eyes by the lobbyist with their dire predictions of what would happen if Bill 16 wasn’t put into place. I really don’t think they have the expertise to understand what the lobbyists are telling them…here and in many other instances.

  8. Sharon says:

    Thank you Susan once again. It seems clear from the debate in the Legislature, or lack thereof, that the Unhinged Clown Party has no rhyme or reason for what they do other than that they want to. There is no thinking about the average Albertans. Dwayne, I always love your song picks and I am not a music afficianado, but hands down, their theme song seems to be “My Way”.

    • Dwayne says:

      Sharon: The UCP does whatever they want, and pretend to listen to Albertans concerns.

    • Sharon, it seems to me the UCP’s modus operandi is give the private sector what it wants and damn the consequences. And if it blows up in their face they blame the NDP opposition who, they seem to forget, aren’t the ones in power. A very immature, unresponsive and ineffective way to govern.

  9. Linda says:

    Hi Susan. Wendy brings up a good point: if reinsurance is the new toy to protect the O&G industry from losses, who will be backing that puppy? The Alberta taxpayer? Maybe a deal involving the Heritage Trust Fund? I can easily imagine the rationale would be that since O&G revenues produced said fund, it would only be fair to use the fund as a backstop for any company – especially any ‘in house, operated by a government buddy’ company offering reinsurance to the O&G industry here in Alberta. It would also be very interesting to track who owns/operates said companies if the bill goes through – that, of course, if it hasn’t already been passed. After all, Tyler Shandro co-owns a health care related company & as Minister for Health oversaw the delisting of services that by some strange coincidence were services that might be offered by that ‘private’ company.

    Car insurance. Have to say that yes, our auto insurance has increased but not excessively. What has jumped by a huge amount is home insurance. Ours has increased over 60% – sixty, not a typo – over the past 3 years. We pay more for house insurance than we do for car insurance. No, we have not submitted a single claim over the past decade. However, every time there is a local disaster such as the hailstorm that devastated Calgary’s NE two years ago our house insurance jumps substantially. Where is the ‘reinsurance’ for folks like us? Oh, wait, we aren’t huge corporations who may provide lucrative board positions come the day an election is lost. So much for counting other than during an election & only until the vote is in.

    • Linda, like you I view everything the UCP does with suspicion, and as the Shandro example illustrates, this suspicion is well founded. However, it appears the UCP expects the O&G companies to pay if there is a catastrophic loss. Toews expected them to fund the reinsurance company by pooling their excess capital. Frankly I don’t think they’ll do that. When Kenney cut the corporate tax rate to 8% with the exception corporations would create more jobs, that didn’t happen. Instead they increased their dividends, paid down debt and bought back shares because this is what shareholders wanted. I don’t see why shareholders would want corporations to divert their excess capital to a reinsurance company (when there are perfectly good reinsurers out there) and this extra cash can be spent in more value-adding ways.
      Wow a 60% increase in home insurance is ridiculous. Clearly this sector needs better oversight. Apparently the Superintendent of Insurance report was delayed (practically buried) this year, the first time that’s happened ever, I don’t expect a whole lot of clarity around why home insurance is skyrocketing too.

      • Linda says:

        Hi Susan. Have to say that information regarding things that matter is less than forthcoming under the UCP government. For instance, Covid stats have not been updated since April 25th. So much for weekly reporting. Now you mention the insurance report was delayed – has it actually been published yet? If not, why the delay?

        I’m not surprised at the surge in home insurance costs. The sheer litany of disasters in the news that caused property damage as well as loss of life made the clear connection between increased claims & rate increases. I’d add that during Covid lockdowns auto insurance premiums were reduced by some insurers as so many people were not driving. Possibly why home insurance increases have flown under the radar is due to the fact home insurance isn’t mandatory unless you have a mortgage, as lenders insist that asset be protected. Disasters like the hailstorm in Calgary’s NE in 2020 noted that not a few homeowners were not insured, exacerbating the financial impact of the storm. Folks bet that a disaster will never occur that impacts them directly. Myself, I operate under Murphy’s Law. If I have insurance I’ll never need it; let it drop & I’ll be singing the blues as I pick my way through the rubble!

  10. James Mather says:

    Better lobbyists? Do Albertans utilize ANY lobbying efforts? Perhaps we need to organize a series of lobbying organizations that only represent issues faced by Alberta consumers and citizens. One for clean water protection; another for K country users; another for insurance concerns; another for ambulance systems; another for health care; another for utility costs; and more? We can’t count on the UCP to listen to the rational voices in the leg, because as they say: “anything NDP says is BAD; probably communist!” So how then to represent the majority of Albertans who are suffering from the UCP focus on corporations and privatization?

    • James, I’ll admit I was being sarcastic when I made the comment about lobbyists and Nick Koolsbergen. His name came up in the debate as a former Kenney advisor and now lobbyist for the insurance industry.
      It appears the UCP won’t listen to rational voices in the leg or from others trying to protect our water, the Rockies, healthcare, etc. Even the people who voted UCP are frustrated with the MLAs who share these concerns but refuse to open their mouths in Kenney’s top-down-driven government. This is an appalling situation which will not improve for whatever is left of the UCP’s first and only term in office.

  11. Carlos says:

    What amazes me the most is the 28% that still support this kind of obvious nonsense.
    What else to say about the UCP? The biggest failure ever in Alberta history. The complete marriage between big money and what is supposed to be our government. What we need now is the complete separation of government and businesses, before we fall in a Mad Max world of total lunacy.

      • Carlos says:

        Well if you want my thoughts, I agree with the article but even if this happens the NDP has to be EXCELLENT if they want to be government more than just one term. Despite the fact that the NDP did way better than the UCP, it is a reality that in Alberta people, in general, do not care about quality government. So I do not believe the NDP will ever have an opportunity to make this province a great place to live in, even if they were capable of doing that. I say this because I am still not convinced the NDP is a social democratic party. They seem to be more of a neo-liberal party and we all know what that has done to the democratic world in the last 30 years. We have an example in BC where big money and corporations run the province as much as here. The NDP just like many other social democratic parties in the democratic world, cannot govern for the people they represent because they are afraid of challenging big money.. So the question is – if that is not possible anymore than what is the point of democracy if the vote is between big money and big money? Is it any surprise that the middle class is disappearing? Is it any surprise that democracy is being challenged by the fascist right wing even in countries like France?
        We seem to be avoiding a final confrontation between unregulated capitalism created by neo-liberalism and globalization and a more social democratic society like we had after the Second World War. We seem to be mostly fascinated with the ‘celebrity millionaire in waiting’ type society which is taking us into a black hole and serious societal disruptions

      • Carlos and Dwayne, that was an interesting article, but I worry that the bar for the NDP is set much higher than it’s set for the UCP or whatever Conservative party will come after them. Part of the problem is the split in the voter base between those who focus on their own individual needs and wants and those who focus on community (this includes the environment). I’m not sure how to bridge this gap. I was watching a clip in Yuri Noah Harari said Putin’s invasion of Ukraine caused people from the left and the right to unite in condemning his actions. And this brought him a measure of hope. I thought the comment both interesting and unsettling. Surely we can’t wait until there is a global crisis before we join together to try and solve it.

    • Carlos, this is a very valid question. I fear that many of the 28% are driven by anger and ideology rather than compassion and reason. I don’t think they’re registering the fact that everything the UCP does is intended to benefit the business community. For example, cutting red tape is code for reducing oversight of the sectors that can do us and our environment the greatest harm. Chopping funding for public healthcare and education benefits private healthcare and education providers and those who are rich enough to afford it. All this is sold as providing the people with “greater choice” and creating good jobs by being “open for business.” The rhetoric is persuasive. Having said all that I take heart in the fact that the level of support is as low as 28%. Most Albertans are tired of this divisive, over-the-top garbage, which incidentally will get worse, not better, after the UCP leadership review is over. It doesn’t matter if Kenney is affirmed or rejected, the chaos will continue. That party is doomed.

  12. Dwayne says:

    Susan: Look at how Postmedia still throws blind support to the Conservatives and the UCP, and how people still go along with it. A year to a year and a half from now, these people may be in for the shock of their lives. From various things I have seen, the UCP are in a state of decline in popularity. What will Postmedia pundits who constantly champion all things Conservative, and the UCP, have to say when the UCP get defeated in 2023? The UCP has a track record of wasting billions of dollars on the worst kinds of debacles, hasn’t managed the covid situation in Alberta too well, as our covid cases are often the highest per capita in Canada, lets the needy suffer on very little support, treats doctors, nurses and other medical workers very badly, doesn’t help the public education system in Alberta, and lets the elderly suffer. Add to this the cunning and devious way the UCP got into power in Alberta, because of all those fines issued to UCP members for election based infractions. The premier of Alberta (that role is still in doubt), is still under investigation by the R.C.M.P for how he attained his position of power.
    https://nationalpost.com/opinion/sean-speer-jason-kenneys-critics-are-wrong-alberta-is-the-only-place-conservatism-is-winning

    • Dwayne, thanks for the link.
      Sean Speer’s point is that Kenney delivered on many of conservative policies (reducing taxes, cutting red tape), and consequently Alberta’s economy is growing faster than anywhere else in the country. What’s missing from Speer’s analysis is the recognition that Alberta’s economy would be booming regardless of who was in power. Our economy is driven by the energy sector, when oil prices are high, our economy will boom, when prices are low our economy goes bust. This is a fact regardless of whether the UCP or the NDP are in power. So when Speer gives Kenney and his conservative policies credit for our economic windfall, he’s missing the boat.
      Also if Kenney is doing such a fantastic job how come a sizable chuck of the people who voted UCP are dissatisfied.
      Thanks again for passing it along, I don’t get the National Post for obvious reasons!

  13. Carlos says:

    The Reply to Susan comment on Dwayne’s article did not work and so I am trying to post it here separate

    Hi Susan
    Reading your comment to the article posted by Dwayne activated an answer in my mind and so why not? It is always very interesting to read the replies and comments from other people mostly yours, most people do not reply as often as I personally would like to see.

    First the comment by Yuri Harari. I find him a very curious and unique thinker but his comments are always interesting and unsettling, I think because he is a realist and his comments can be shocking because they are so true and they can hurt. I do not always agree with him because he seems sometimes deterministic and I tend to believe that humans have the capacity to change course.

    On the comment you made about individual versus community I was a bit surprised when you said that you do not know how to bridge the gap.

    So lets look at an example – Say you have 4 kids and one of them is extremely individualistic to the point of taking everything he/she can from the others. Will you act?
    Now say we have the opposite problem and somehow 3 of your kids gang up on the fourth for whatever reason (example – envy) – will you act?
    If you say no I do not have any other comment or question but if you said yes I would like to ask what would you try to do?

    Most people will say try to get to a point where there is some kind of contentment on both sides. That is the problem our society is facing in my opinion. The will to moderate does not exist anymore and in our case in Canada the greedy individual has the power. Our politicians have given up on the community in favour of those who control everything. Why? Because that is who they are as well. The majority of our politicians are privileged people who really do not care or are benefitting from the current existing system. It has nothing to do with the left or the right because they exist on both sides. It it has all to do with who can run and is being elected to govern. Our political system is badly broken. Just take a look at the people that are currently in parliament. In the past only land owners were allowed to run, today one has to have means in special money. What are the consequences? In my opinion, what we are facing right now in all fronts.

    • Carlos, I see where you’re going with your example and yes if I have one child who takes care of himself to the detriment of the other children I would certainly act.
      What I’m unsure about is what actions we can take to change the behavior or value systems of entire groups of people, not just the child who might actually listen to me because I’m their mother.
      I heard an interesting interview with Abigail Disney the other day. She’s fighting for better working conditions and higher wages for Disney employees. She said since the Regan era we’ve pushed the notion of individualism without the concurrent notion of personal responsibility. And that wealthy people believe that since they’re rich they’re better than poor people. This justifies them refusing to help those who aren’t as well off. Her point is that the wealthy need to take responsibility for the growing inequity problem across society because everyone is worthy of respect.
      She’s testified before Congress and has been denounced as a socialist for her views. Her family wishes she’d shut up because they don’t like drawing attention to themselves.
      This is the kind of thing I’m thinking about when I say I don’t know how we’ll get through to people who care about their own individual needs and wants than the public good.

      • Carlos says:

        I am sorry I did not reply if full to your post about Abigail Disney but I understand the fight she is in and of course calling her socialist is the common way to shut people down and protect the interests of big businesses, but the facts are clear.
        I fully understand that there is of course a difference between a mother and son versus citizens and country but I was trying to give an example of an attitude that we need to embrace in order not be afraid of insults and the propaganda that has been used for 30 years now that make us slaves of our own minds. The principle is where I want to get because they are simple to understand and they are fundamental. The fact that corporations like for example Amazon that make billions in profits for Jeff Bezos and barely pay taxes or pay decent salaries to their employees is not right and just because someone tells us that is the capitalist system and do not be a socialist and shut up is not a solution in my view. If it is in yours than our discussion may be over but if we believe that there is more to life than Jeff Bezos becoming the first trillionaire and run the planet then why is it so bad to question it?

  14. Carlos says:

    Well again the reply to your last reply did not work and so I am using the main post

    Susan thank you for your reply. I also understand your view on this extremely well.
    I only have one opinion about this complex issue of how to turn this around – we have a choice – we either do it using our reason and our experience and common sense or life will do it for us. When we say history repeats itself is not because it is a sentence that sounds good. We will see the change by force if we prefer to do nothing as it is happening right now.

    It is not asking for much to implement a tax system that is fair and where everyone pays. The problem is that the current politicians are scared to be called socialists. I say the following – be proud of being a socialist if your objective is fairness for all. End tax havens and tax loopholes immediately. Those who do not like can move anywhere they want.

    Banning foreign buying of our homes for tourism is not enough. We should only allow people with permanent status or citizens to own property in Canada. Those who do not live here have to sell their properties within a certain period. Yes this will be a shock for the construction industry but right now the shock is way greater to us regular citizens that have to live on the streets.

    The problem again is that people do not have the guts to defend our citizens because most of them live in high lives around the world and could careless about those like us that cannot afford a decent place to raise a family.

    Canada has enough resources to give all of us a decent living, the problem is that our interests are now second to foreign corporations and super rich individuals. Of course we are a decent country and we do not confiscate anything but we give them a period to allow the sale to people who live in Canada.

    Strange concept? Socialism? Anyone can call me whatever they wish but I would rather have a discussion and I would like to know why this is so difficult and why fairness always seems to attract insults from the right wing politicians. I am fine with the title but just tell me why this is so complex to understand?

    Simplicity is not difficult but hurts those who have taken us in for decades in complex hidden schemas to enrich themselves. The World is rotten in corruption and the only excuse for not taking steps to fix the situation is only lack of courage and lack of political interest.

    Life is complex and so are decisions to change our lives but we have a choice and it is simple. I do not accept ever the propaganda that we hear everyday from our politicians that spend most of their time with elections and lies and fix nothing. Now is abortion again. That has been resolved 40 years ago. Let us talk publicly about housing. They do not want to talk about it only because it will go directly against their supporters and landlords.

    There is always money to send to Iraq and Afghanistan and whatever is the war of the moment, but when it comes to us the citizens there is never any money. Why? because housing does not get Trudeau or Freeland the reputation they need for their future careers in NATO and EU and World Bank, the United Nations or the corporate boards of major corporations and on and on. Well here is the truth – we need people that care about life instead of brownie points. We need to change ourselves if we want a bright future for our descendants.

    The money we spent FOR NOTHING in Afghanistan around 20 Billion or more could have built houses for Canadians for free instead of giving it to the Taliban.
    There are 30 million Canadians, so see how much it would be for each of us. Of course this is communism right? Why? Is it better to give it away to the war industry?

    Please tell me why I am wrong or why this kind of discussion is not possible?
    The answer to me is because we do not live in a democracy we live in a compassionate money dictatorship and we refuse to learn the truth because it hurts. We are mere slaves of a game we have no chance to win and when we talk we are immediately bombarded with insults of communist, socialist blah blah blah. Well only those that are not self confident enough to struggle through it are worried about those insults.

  15. Carlos says:

    Here is another example of the BC NDP government – so much for social democracy

    https://thetyee.ca/News/2022/05/04/BCGEU-Pans-BC-Decision-To-Expand-Private-Long-Term-Care/

  16. Dave says:

    I don’t have a problem with reinsurance. If a business or industry is having problems getting insurance from the cartel of a few large insurance companies that provides it, it makes sense for them to be able to set something up themselves.

    Insurance companies have a long history of not serving customers very well, it is one reason why so many co-operative or mutual insurers arose for farmers, small business and others. Of course, over the years these were mostly privatized or turned into public companies that now sadly put other interests before those of their customers.

    However beneficial this bill may be to the energy industry or perhaps certain other industries, I doubt it will do anything to help out consumers trying to home or auto insurance. In this case, the UCP just ignores or tries to deny there is a problem. What is worse, is there is a requirement for drivers to have auto insurance, so it is not something they can cut back on if the price becomes too high. Therefore, there is really no free market for auto insurance. It is one reason why most places in Canada with compulsory government required auto insurance also provide that insurance through a public body. This includes provinces such as Saskatchewan and Manitoba which have had Conservative governments for many years, so it is not a socialist thing, as Kenney calls it. Of course, in Kenney’s Alberta, its a free for all and private insurers are raking it in now.

    I wish the UCP would be as responsive to the concerns of consumers as they are of industry, but I really doubt they will do anything to improve this situation.

  17. Carlos says:

    Lack of decency and honesty in the UCP is not a problem, it is endemic and an embarrassment to all of us.

    https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/elections-alberta-investigate-bulk-ucp-membership-purchase-1.6445702

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