Hooray, hooray, it’s the first of May! The snow has melted, the birds are chirping, and the writ has dropped to start an Alberta election campaign that will culminate in a vote late this month to determine whether Danielle Smith will continue as Premier, or whether Albertans instead will return to Rachel Notley, previously elected to be our province’s Premier back in May of 2015.
McCourt Law Offices firm founder Mark McCourt has always had a keen interest in politics. Prior to earning his law degree at the University of Alberta in 1990, Mark earned a U of A undergraduate degree with distinction in 1987, majoring in political science. In 2003-04, when the rights of innocent injured auto accident victims was a hot political issue, Mr. McCourt was a tireless victims’ rights advocate, speaking out on television, radio and in the print media locally, provincially and nationally, including on the national news show Global Sunday in 2003 (hosted by Danielle Smith) and as a political pundit on CBC (alongside Rachel Notley) in 2004. For his efforts, McCourt was recognized by Alberta Venture magazine in 2004 as one of Alberta’s 50 Most Influential People (with other notables such as Stephen Harper, Ralph Klein, Jarome Iginla and Daryl Katz). But enough reminiscing; back to the future! Throughout this month as candidates for MLA jobs knock on doors, message the thoroughly unbiased media and run negative ads slagging their opponents, we expect auto insurance premium affordability once again will be a hot political issue, as it was a couple of decades ago. We predict that during this month’s campaign between the UCP and NDP, one of those two political parties will proudly and publicly proclaim a platform plank promising to reduce rates by reining in excessive insurer profits rather than by gutting Albertans’ freedoms. The other political party then either will match that prudent pledge, or lose the May 29 election. Both UCP leader Danielle Smith and NDP leader Rachel Notley have been provided via email our firm’s four 2023 blog posts on this issue (and surely have read them many times over and both wholeheartedly agree with every word, but it would be nice if they actually came out and said so). For ease of reference, those blog posts are as follows: In January: Time for a New Year’s Auto Insurance Premium Haircut? In February: Sorry UCP, We’ve Seen This Movie Before In March: People Over Profits In April: Support Ordinary Albertans, Not Ontario-Based Insurance Lobbyists The facts are beyond all reasonable doubt. Evidently, auto insurance premiums in our province are overinflated due to outrageous insurance industry profits, which have been rising as sharply as bodily injury claims costs have been falling. The obvious, ethical and fair Alberta way to reduce auto insurance rates for good drivers is to trim windfall insurer profit margins, NOT to rob regular Albertans of our civil legal rights -- full stop.