Liberal plan to sell ICBC’s North Vancouver head office halted

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By Brent Richter – North Shore News

Sept. 3, 2017 – The previous B.C. Liberal government was considering the sale of ICBC’s North Vancouver head office. But North Vancouver-Lonsdale’s new NDP MLA, Bowinn Ma, says her government is halting that plan.

ICBC had prepared an internal business case at the direction of the Liberal government, laying out options for the future of the property at 151 West Esplanade, which has been in use since 1980.

“ICBC was instructed to begin the process required to sell off their Lonsdale Quay property a couple of years ago by the previous government in a desperate attempt to try to improve ICBC’s books,” Ma confirmed to the North Shore News on Thursday. “The new government has given instructions, under no uncertain terms, for this process to be stopped.”

The public insurance corporation has been in turmoil since a report surfaced last month that it must raise auto insurance rates by as much as 30 per cent or face insolvency. Attorney General David Eby has fired a number of the previous government’s appointed directors and selected new ones.

Ma said she was not familiar with the details of the business plan and could not speak to the issues with the building itself. But she added that selling the land would be a short-sighted strategy.

“Selling that land will not fix ICBC. It will not put a dent in it. If that land is sold to private interests, the North Shore would have lost 1,000 jobs. The public would have lost control over one of the most valuable pieces of real estate in North Vancouver,” she said.

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