By CRM staff
Toronto, Ontario – January 10, 2019 – Automotive Retailers Association CEO Ken McCormack has said the minister in charge of ICBC is committed to finding a solution to an ongoing dispute over compensation rates.
McCormack met with BC Attorney General David Eby on January 7 to discuss a 2010 decision that ended negotiations between ICBC and the ARA about the rate ICBC pays to suppliers.
ICBC said then that changes to the Competition Act made it impossible for the corporation to negotiate rates with an association acting in the industry’s name.
While Eby has repeatedly told McCormack that he wants to find a regulatory solution that would enable ICBC to discuss rates with the ARA, the government has said such a move would require a change in law – something expected to take at least a year to bring about.
The ARA disputes this, and has offered legal advice to Eby that he already has the powers to direct ICBC to resume negotiations with the association.
At the January 7 meeting, McCormack said Eby and his team “continue to review the opinion provided by our legal counsel”.
In a note to ARA members, he added: “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.”
McCormack explained that a joint submission would help ease the costs for the ARA – which has been collecting funds from members for the purpose – and also add more credibility to the appeal.
He added that he expects to hear back from the government in the next two weeks.