Profits over Safety

by Kris Bonn

Insurance companies know how to make money. If you haven’t seen Rick Mercer’s take on insurance companies, it is a funny spoof that is starting to be the reality. Our current Ford Conservative Government has introduced a Bill to amend the Occupiers’ Liability Act that clearly puts profits over safety.  The amendment protects negligent occupiers from any liability for their negligence in causing injuries if the injured person does not provide written notice to the occupier within 10 days of the injury. This will have a dramatic impact in Ontario. I foresee property owners taking less care in maintaining their properties, more people being injured, and insurance companies earning greater profits at the expense of the innocently injured.

There is no principled basis for this amendment. The only reason is to increase insurance companies’ profits.

Not only will innocently injured people not be compensated for being negligently injured, but all Ontario taxpayers will also pay for this change. The injuries will still happen and may even increase. If those injured victims are shut out from being compensated, they will need to look to publicly funded OHIP for medical care and to Employment Insurance for financial help. In some cases, if the injured person is no longer able to work, they may need to go onto ODSP, the publicly funded disability support program. This change only helps insurance companies and no one else in Ontario.

Keep in mind that an injured person must prove that the occupier was negligent to receive any compensation. This proposed amendment does not protect the responsible occupier who regularly maintains their property in a safe manner. The amendment serves to protect negligent occupiers and their insurance companies from being held responsible for their negligence.

What can you do? Contact your MPP and tell him or her that you heard about this proposed change and believe it is unfair. Be a voice for positive change in Ontario.