The Reminder is making its archives back to 2003 available on our website. Please note that, due to technical limitations, archive articles are presented without the usual formatting.
Proposed amendments to the Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI) Act were introduced in the legislature yesterday that would strengthen and protect MPI, Gord Mackintosh, minister responsible for MPI, and Finance Minister Greg Selinger announced. "Manitoba Public Insurance continues to offer the lowest insurance rates in Canada and is recognized nationally as providing affordable, quality automobile insurance," said Mackintosh. "Public ownership of MPI has made insurance affordable for all Manitobans and needs to be protected and strengthened." Amendments to the Act would: Limit Benefits for Offenders Ð to prevent spousal death benefit payments from going to drunk drivers who caused the death, and reduce payments to injured auto thieves. These amendments would deny death benefits to a claimant who is at least 50 per cent responsible for an accident that caused a death and who is convicted of an impaired driving or related offence in connection with the accident. They also include a proposed reduction of injury benefits for anyone who is convicted of auto theft related charges. MPI would deny income replacement payments for 12 months if the claimant is found to be responsible for the accident and convicted of theft, flight from a police officer or taking a motor vehicle without consent. This sanction would be similar to one already in place for drivers convicted of impaired driving. Create a claimant advisor office - to assist claimants in appealing decisions rendered by Manitoba Public Insurance to the Automobile Injury Compensation Appeal Commission. Prevent the sale of MPI without public permission Ð by requiring a government, prior to selling the crown corporation, to have the majority support of the citizens of the province through a referendum similar to provisions in the current Manitoba Hydro Protection Act. "Appealing a decision to the Automobile Injury Compensation Appeal Commission can be very intimidating," said Selinger. "The creation of a claimant advisor office would assist claimants in understanding their entitlements and the scope and purpose of the appeal process, and help them prepare for an appeal hearing."