My rebate cheque for $110 from ICBC arrived in the mail. The accompanying letter explained that this was a “one-time relief rebate to ease the financial challenges facing drivers in our province.”
Rebates were sent to every person who held an insurance policy with ICBC, all 3.5 million of us. The rising gas prices affect everyone, even those who drive electric vehicles.
I won’t even be able to cover my weekly grocery bill with $110. Inflation affects us all. Inflation is fundamentally caused by the rising cost of fossil fuels. The cost of fuel is embedded in everything: housing, manufacturing, food production and distribution, travel, shipping, etc. Our climate is threatened by the use of fossil fuels.
The $396 million would have made a greater impact if it had supported the transition to alternative energy sources and away from fossil fuels.
What could our province have done with $396 million?
• Fund alternative transportation methods (better public transit, more bicycle paths).
• Greater funding support to homeowners for retrofitting their homes to make them more energy efficient
• More support to social service agencies working with the homeless and the working poor who are not able to find affordable housing
• Support research on green initiatives. As the demand for green technology rises, funds could be used to help establish new green businesses
• Support training for workers working in the traditional construction industry to learn the skills needed to work with alternate materials, systems and technology.
So instead of using my $110 on consumer items, I will donate the money to Transition Sooke to help with its climate emergency work.
If you can afford it or are an EV driver not impacted by rising gas costs, consider donating your rebates to a charity of your choosing or an organization fighting climate change.