I’m concerned about the increased costs of managing a small fleet of landscape trucks in the future. Also the added expense employees will have, operating their private vehicles too. (and electricity, and gas and food and rent) Not every-one works on a bus route. I don’t believe the upcoming higher minimum wage is going to help people. ICBC is going to be a substantial drain for both employees and landscape companies, who rely on them to drive company vehicles. How do we get the tools and supplies to our job sites? It’s already a major challenge provincially to fill jobs in this industry. Now we’ll have to change hiring selection practices and pay even higher wages? Perhaps I’m over-thinking it. But this is the type of dilemma that requires a special meeting of the BC Landscape Nursery Association members to discuss possible solutions. That think tank didn’t help a few years ago when gas prices first went through the roof. Our annual fees and operating rates are set and contracted for the year. We’re stuck with the agreed price. Gas increases mid season had to be eaten by the landscape companies. Provincially there has been a radical rise in payroll in this industry over the last three years. Which I applaud in many respects. I want our employees to prosper. But businesses will again have to raise their annual estimated rates to cover icbc costs. We can’t operate without trucks on the road ….Will the clients pay more? Their insurance and cost of living has also gone up. Will the clients then only hire cheaper, inexperienced contractors and live with depreciated property value from poor or lesser quality service? My guess is younger landscape company owners will have a higher expense burden. Due to the algorithm and new rules icbc is using today. It’s already quite difficult finding and retaining clients in this market. The statistics and ratios for number of estimates required, to contracts signed, is traditionally pretty low. I moved the company to Kamloops over 3 years ago (to be closer to family) The region has been very slow for business. I don’t have the answer. And I hope I can sleep tonight…. This isn’t meant to be a political mud slinging post. So, please don’t start saying “this government or that government blah blah blah”… The insurance problem has been festering for a long long time. This province has been too expensive to live and do business in. I hope every-one reading this can keep their insurance rates low. Peace.
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