News Article Fridays Letters Jan'24

Re. “Icy roads should be an election issue,” Letters, Jan. 22

First, at 30-below, nothing adheres to the ice on the roads. Sand, salt, chipped stone, nothing. All that happens is that these abrasives act as polish. The ice becomes smoother and slicker.

Secondly, at 30-below the ice actually comes from your car. Exhaust condenses in the tail pipe and drips out onto the street. Just look carefully; you can see it happening. That is why busy intersections tend to be more slippery.

Third, your driving. The speed-limit sign may say 60 km/h, but that does not say you must drive 60 km/h. You must drive according to conditions.

Jim Wood, Edmonton

Insurance report ignores long-term trend

Re. “Advocates say insurers exaggerate claim numbers,” Jan. 22

Alberta’s three million drivers deserve an auto insurance system that works for them.

All stakeholders should be working towards a better solution that meets the needs of Albertans. To find this better solution requires taking a good look at the long-term data trends and not short-term results that do not paint a full picture of what is happening to drivers.

The report asserts that bodily injury claims are not the main reason for increasing costs in the auto insurance system. The data presented ignores all of the long-term claims history that is well-documented publicly by numerous actuaries, including the independent rate regulator’s actuary.

It’s like saying unemployment in Alberta is no longer an issue because there was an increase in job creation during a one month period. That is, clearly, not accurate.  Why? Because trends in any data set are not found in short-term pictures, they develop over time.

While the report’s author agrees that claim costs from bodily injury have increased since 2012, the report fails to mention that these claims costs have not just increased a little bit — they are, in fact, up by 80 per cent since 2011.

The article also mentions that these bodily injury claims are the reason the rate cap was removed. This is incorrect. The rate cap did nothing to fix claims costs; it simply asked Albertans to pay more down the road.

The auto insurance system in Alberta no longer works for the drivers that depend on it. Drivers deserve affordable premiums, choice and the care they need if they are in an accident.

We encourage all groups to work with the government’s Expert Committee on Auto Insurance to develop outcomes that will improve the system.

Celyeste Power, vice-president, Western Insurance Bureau of Canada

Getting money from a stone

Re. “Rural municipalities can take legal action against energy firms: Kenney,” Jan. 22

Premier Jason Kenney realistically tells rural municipalities that, “You can’t wring money from a stone.” He should know; that’s why he gets his money from AISH recipients.

Patricia Hartnagel, Edmonton

Court’s ruling on abortion protest troubling

Social progressivism has brought credibility and social standing to many groups who formerly lacked them, and turned the tables on those who would marginalize them; racist and homophobic opinion-holders now lose status and credibility.

But it is still possible to attack women’s reproductive rights that are guaranteed in Canada in accordance with the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and legal precedents.

Anti-abortion activists have used large graphic posters of aborted fetuses and propaganda on the U of A campus, the purpose of which cannot be to stop abortion but merely to harass, embarrass, confuse and confound those who have made, or are about to make this choice.

This is mischievous in intent and amounts to guilt injection constituting hate speech. It could conceivably irreparably damage the psyche, for instance, of a very vulnerable victim of rape or incest. It could mean delay with negative consequences to mental and physical health.

The Alberta Court of Appeal’s decision makes the University of Alberta an unwilling enabler in this dark and regressive enterprise.

Doris Wrench Eisler, St. Albert

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