A spring deadline is a short timeline for tangible change to auto insurance costs, Premier Kathleen Wynne says.
Following election warnings from the NDP over insurance costs for drivers, the new premier said spring would be “a very short period of time” to see any sort of specific numeric reduction in costs.
“You know, I was clear during my leadership campaign that it’s something that we need to work on,” she told the Spectator in an interview Saturday before an appearance at the Outstanding Business Achievement Awards ceremony in Flamborough.
Wynne said staff is actively looking to implement specific recommendations regarding auto insurance made in the province’s anti-fraud task force report. She said while she expects these changes will save the industry millions, she will work to make sure those savings are felt by premium holders.
“Some constituents across the province have said, you know, ‘If I live in this neighbourhood my rates are going to be higher … regardless of my driving record.’ Well I need to understand, from the industry’s (perspective), why that is.”
Wynne said staff is already engaged and working with industry professionals to begin making changes.
Another priority of hers as she wraps up her first month in the Premier’s office is social assistance reform — an issue she spoke of in her Throne Speech in February.
“I want to get started (on that) right away,” she said. “I want to make sure that between now and the budget we work to figure out which initiatives we can put in place right away … specifics like helping people with disabilities to keep more of the money that they earn when they do find work,” she said.
MPP Ted McMeekin, the new minister of community and social services for the province, said his staff is already working with advocates to discuss which parts of the province’s Transforming Social Assistance in Ontario report they would specifically like to see implemented.
Wynne is hoping for tangible changes in 2013.
“I’m hoping we’ll be able to get there. It’s certainly a priority.”
In the mean time, she also assured the Business crowd in Flamborough that she has been “paying close attention” to the situation at Flamboro Downs.
“Some of the decisions that have been made were possibly not as well thought-through as maybe they should have been, and my predecessor knew that,” she said in her address.
“We must have a sustainable horse racing industry in the province. It is part of what defines us. It won’t be the same industry as we have had, it will be a smaller industry, but my hope is that it will ultimately be … more stable.”
Wynne also attended the Hamilton Health Sciences’ annual Research Gala as a guest of honour on Saturday.