Queen’s Park Update: Auto insurance bills may have to wait

1 June 26, 2014 at 7:58 pm by

A surprise majority for the Liberals in the recent election is expected to set a different tone in Queen’s Park after almost 3 years of minority government.  A minority government is all about survival, there is no long-term planning. The Liberals could not focus on deficit reduction, job creation, pensions or stabilizing the auto insurance product without the confidence of having the support of the Legislature.

Despite campaigning under an activist agenda, the Liberals are now signalling that they are serious about deficit reduction. Deb Matthews has been appointed President/Chair of Treasury Board/Management Board which traditionally has been a responsibility of the Ministry of Finance. Treasury Board is not well known outside of government but it is a powerful central agency that manages the fiscal plan of the government including all government spending and approving labour agreements.  A very powerful body.

Charles Sousa continues as Minister of Finance and appears to still be responsible for the auto insurance file.  His Deputy, Steve Orsini has been promoted to Secretary of Cabinet which is head of the Ontario Public Service.  His appointment is intended to also signal that the Liberals are serious about deficit reduction.  He replaces Peter Wallace also preceded Orsini as Deputy Minister of Finance.

There has been some restructuring in the Ministry of Finance.  The Insurance and Cooperatives Policy Unit (which includes auto insurance policy) and the Deposit Taking Institutions Unit of the Industrial and Financial Services Branch will be reconstituted as the Financial Institutions Policy Branch. They will continue to be led by Alvaro del Castillo. Tthe Financial Institutions Policy Branch will join the Securities Reform Division (SRD) reporting to Assistant Deputy Minister Frank Allen who replaces Pat Deutscher. To better reflect its broader mandate the SRD will be renamed the Financial Services Policy Division.

Next week, new MPPs will return to Queen’s Park to elect a new Speaker of the Legislature (July 2), hear a new Speech from the Throne (July 3), then debate a re-introduced provincial budget on July 14. It is expected that shortly after that the Legislature will recess for the summer.  That might mean that the reintroduction of industry supported bills such as Bills 171 and 189 might have to wait until the fall.

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1 Comment » for Queen’s Park Update: Auto insurance bills may have to wait
  1. Calculation says:

    More cut and slashing of benefits for auto accident victims is on the way. What does that say to the taxpayer? It says get ready to watch your public support systems eroded by unpaid auto accident, WSIB and CPP claimants whose cases have been denied and delayed. It’s fiscally irresponsible to protect a business (auto insurance) using our public systems to prop up their profits while downloading the expense to the unsuspecting public. Too much of the insurance industry’s costs are ending up coming out of the public’s purse – no-fault has evolved into unofficial public insurance and a very unfair system that no longer works for Ontario.

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