Friday, April 1, 2011

Manitoba NDP playing fast and loose with the rules

We've already seen the flashy ads the NDP got Manitoba Hydro to pay for... you know the ones where they "educate" us about how BiPole III needs to go west to preserve the wonderful boreal forest most of us will never see. (I'd also like to know who pays for the "Land that gives life" spiel. I don't think the Winnipeg Foundation is footing that one on their own) They are silent on the cost over runs... allowing Brennen and his crew of estimators to take the "heat", not that the MSM is really putting the flame thrower to their incompetence.
Really... what's a 40% over run in costs? I know what it is in my business. A reason to be fired by my client, and frankly, I'd deserve it. If I know so little about my field of expertise that I'm out by THAT much, it's time for some re training. Maybe an envelope stuffer?
Now we have Andy Swan announcing the MPI rebate.
The entire rebate issue aside, (for now),  Andy had no place making any announcement, rather the PUB was supposed to be doing that. Andy saw an opportunity to try to make it sound like he and his group of fiscally prudent orange placard waving cronies, were behind the huge refund... like it was the Minister of Justice getting justice for the rate payers! (Is he the Minister of Justice? I thought he was, but try these links. http://www.gov.mb.ca/minister/minjus.html and then try http://www.gov.mb.ca/justice/welcome/index.html )

Just in case someone updates the pages without changing the addresses, the first page has Andy, the second has our old fried Dave "I'm going to fix hallway medicine" Chomiak.

While I know Andy is the Minister responsible for MPI, he had no place making any announcement as the PUB hadn't reached a decision, thus we can infer that their authority had been usurped. Manitobans won't be upset at his "toe stepping", because for many, there will be a substantial cheque in the mail. Andy is taking the PUB review, spinning it, AND using it as a camapign plug.

On to the idea of MPI "gouging" the rate payers, they're not.

Yup... you read me right. MPI is not gouging motorists for the rates they pay. What they are doing is badly screwing over people who are no longer able to sue for damages from being involved in a motor vehicle accident through their "no fault" insurance policy. No fault, doesn't mean no fault... what it means is that there is a prescriptive method of calculating a payment for a particular injury.

Consider. MPI will calculate an impairment based on a percentage amount then multiplied by a base amount (which reflects a total impairment) to calculate the "compensation" you receive as a one time payment. So a Doctors hands are as valuable as anyone elses... or in my case, a carpenter. The loss of my hand has some pretty extreme implications for me, I'd say more so than the average person, but let's hope we'll make that up in the income replacement.

Nope. MPI takes my last income tax statement, and uses the net income amount. As a self employed person, the game is to have the lowest possible amount show up in that line, not the highest possible amount...

I know a guy. He was broad sided in a small car. This guy was a self employed craftsman, but he can't work anymore. It's not that he doesn't want to and is happy riding the gravy train... he CAN'T lift the weight, be as mobile, and do the physically demanding exercises he once could. He's older than I am, and I can already imagine the retraining possibilities... he has little ability to use the language as he's your stereo typical eastern European immigrant. ("What you mean, 'puter? No drink from pewter... bad for blood. Use glass. Now pass wodka bottle")When you talk to him, he hangs his head. "My life is ruined".

What value do we put on a "ruined life"? MPI can tell you. They have some pencil necked geek who has a shirt buttoned to the collar and a pocket saver for his pens in a room somewhere without windows who can crunch the numbers, and he'll tell you exactly what his ruined life is worth, and frankly.... no one would even consider being happy with the number if it happened to them.

The moral of the story? Let me spin you a comparable. People say living in the US isn't as good as Canada because we have "universal health care" and in the US you have to buy expensive insurance. The US might be better, unless you're sick, or have a sick child or parent. Well, MPI is a cheaper way to insure a vehicle until you're needing to be looked after as a result of an accident that disables you. If you're unlucky enough to be in that situation, the system fails you, and there's NOTHING you can do about it.

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