The Coming Changes To Ontario Auto Legislation: Accident Benefits & Tort

As part of the provincial budget announced on April 23, 2015, the Ontario government decided to first throw seriously injured accident victims off the bus and then deprive them of the ability to make a good recovery from their injuries. The announcement came as a total blindside to interested stakeholders.

Historically, whenever the Ontario government considered major changes to automobile insurance legislation, they first engaged in widespread consultation between stakeholders. That consultation process consistently revealed that all stakeholders agreed that the accident benefits available to the most seriously injured persons were sacrosanct. As a result, prior changes focussed on changes other than reductions to the no-fault statutory accident benefits available to the ‘catastrophically impaired’.

The changes, first announced in the budget, have now all been introduced into legislation (with the last piece of legislation, Ontario Regulation 251/15, only being made public on August 27, 2015).

All of the government’s announced changes reduce the funding available to accident victims, reduce the chance for an accident victim to regain their independence and result in further pressure on the chronically under-resourced public health care system.

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