Victoria, British Columbia — Some relief is on the way for British Columbian drivers who have been shelling out big time at the pumps recently, as the province’s public insurer plans to roll out rebates in the coming months.
The Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC), in recognition of the effect that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has had on international gas prices, has decided to issue one-time rebates of $110 to drivers in the province to help them better cope with rising fuel costs.
Commercial customers are expected to receive a slightly higher rebate of $165 due to their greater operational costs. The province says the rebate will total more than $395 million.
Some critics point out that even though the rebate is intended to provide relief for rising gas costs, money is still being provided to electric vehicle drivers who remain largely unaffected by the recent price hike.
“People are facing increased costs through no fault of their own, but as a chain reaction that started with Putin’s illegal war in Ukraine,” said B.C. Premier John Horgan.
“As a result of our work to fix ICBC, we’re in a position to put money back in people’s pockets to help a little with these increased costs.”
In Friday’s press release, the government attributed the ability to give out this rebate to the $1.9 billion net income accrued by the provincial insurer over the past fiscal year. The government says the remaining income will be reinvested into ICBC’s capital reserves to ensure rates remain affordable for the long term.
“This rebate is going to help a lot of people in this province,” said Minister of public safety and solicitor general Mike Farnworth.
“This is another opportunity to put money back in the pockets of the hardworking people who make this province a great place to live.”
ICBC customers registered for direct deposit or credit card refunds can expect to receive their rebate cheques in May, with the remainder to be sent out in June.