Rebates Prove Value of Manitoba Public Insurance

April 4, 2011

– By Al Cerilli, Manitoba Union of Labour Retirees President

In an editorial entitled ‘It’s time to audit MPI’s books’ that appeared in the Winnipeg Free Press on April 1, Andrew Swan, the provincial cabinet minister charged with the administration of The Manitoba Public Insurance Act, was criticized for rightly pointing out the value and benefits of our crown corporations. My personal (private) insurance premiums have steadily increased over the years, regardless of my claim-free status. I have no doubt that an audit of my private sector insurance providers would reveal significant profits and reserves and some very satisfied shareholders who benefit from the windfall I have helped create. Unfortunately, I do not ever get a penny of those profits returned to me – all I get is increases to my premiums.

Rate payers should not lose sight of the fact that the same scenario as we have today with MPI takes place in the private sector. It is only because MPI is a crown corporation that these profits are rightfully returned to those who created them. And so, I say, be wary of those who undervalue the role of our crown corporations and are willing to privatize them. If that were the case with MPI, you would not be seeing a cent returned to you.