TORONTO, Ont. – Ontario’s Liberal government says it would like to see an eight per cent cut in auto insurance premiums by August 2014.
“Today, I’m announcing that our government strategy targets an average 15 per cent reduction on auto insurance rates for Ontarians, within two years,” finance minister Charles Sousa said, Friday, in his home riding of Mississauga.
The finance minister predicts this will result in a saving of $200 on average.
He also says the government is committed to a continued crackdown on insurance fraud and has appointed an industry watchdog to make sure any savings are passed along to drivers.
“In order to ensure that savings are passed on to consumers, we’ve given new powers to Ontario’s auto insurance regulator,” he said, “and to ensure greater transparency and accountability, we’ll appoint independent experts to report on how quickly those savings are passed on to consumers.”
The timing of the cuts is twice as long as the New Democrats demanded. The NDP wanted to see a 15 per cent reduction within a year, in exchange for support for the minority government’s budget.
NDP MPP house leader Gilles Bisson says the Liberals need to make the cuts a priority when the legislature returns on September 9, so drivers get relief a lot sooner.
“Kathleen Wynne can’t be trusted to put drivers first,” Bisson said in a written statement.
Meantime, the provincial Tories say Ontarians have been lied to once again, calling the plan to reduce rates sooner an empty promise.
“The Liberals lied to the NDP, but more importantly, both parties misled drivers across Ontario,” PC MPP Jeff Yurek wrote in a statement.
Drivers in Ontario pay the highest premiums in Canada, with those in the GTA being hit the hardest.