John Vanthof
Commissioner, Board of Internal Economy

I would like to thank the member from Essex. I’d like to focus on one part of his question, and that is commercial insurance rates. I have spoken to two of the past three finance ministers on this issue because I have, specifically, small trucking companies, owner-operators, mom-and-pops, who are being put out of business because they cannot afford to insure their vehicles. They just cannot afford it. I know there are people on the government side who I’ve also spoken to and who have experience in the insurance industry, and I respect that. The response is, “Well, there’s always facility,” but that just puts people out of business. I believe there’s a workforce on the other side talking about insurance rates and I hope they come up with a solution, because we are losing businesses as we speak.

The winter is kind of over down here, but we still have a lot of people who couldn’t get their yards plowed in northern Ontario this year, because a lot of companies who used to do snow plowing can’t, because of insurance rates. Again, that is something that impacts everyday people today.