Sarah Bruce
Public Relations / Member Engagement
Email: sarahbruce@ara.bc.ca
Phone: 604-432-7987

January Update Regarding Submission to the Competition Bureau

Dear ARA Members,

In December of last year, I communicated with you informing of our progress in addressing the issue of the Competition Bureau opinion that ICBC claims prevents them from discussion compensation related matters with the ARA. As you probably know this has been an issue since ICBC sought our opinion from the Competition Bureau in 2010.

In that previous communique, I informed you that Minister Eby had committed to working with his staff and advisors to find a regulatory solution that would enable him to direct ICBC to discuss such matters with us without contravening the Competition Act. Unfortunately, the government feels that a legislation change would be required which could take as much as another year to achieve. Our legal counsel is of a different opinion and believes that legislation already exists that authorizes the Minister to provide such direction to ICBC. We have provided that opinion to the Minister and his staff.

Earlier this week, our Chairman, Ron Tremblay and I met with the Minister and other representatives of his Ministry to discuss this issue. They continue to review the opinion provided by our legal counsel and I expect to hear from them soon.

In the meantime, the Minister seems committed to helping to find a solution and has indicated that he will direct ICBC to work with the ARA on an acceptable agreement that would permit the ARA to review the original 2010 information exchange and opinion from the Competition Bureau. If we can achieve this, the next step suggested by the Minister would be to make a new and joint submission to the Competition Bureau. In that case, the ARA and ICBC would work together on the draft submission and would seek a new opinion from the federal government. The idea is that not only would we share in the high costs associated in making the submission, but a joint submission may have more credibility to the Competition Bureau and provide strength to the submission.

Between the government’s review of our legal counsel opinion and the direction that the Minister will be giving ICBC that could lead to a joint submission, I expect to hear more from the government in the next two weeks.

I will have more to communicate to you by the end of January.

Sincerely,

Ken McCormack

President & CEO