THE CANADIAN PRESS
REGINA _ A new bill is being introduced in Saskatchewan to give families of those killed by a drunk driver the chance to file a lawsuit.
Don McMorris, the minister responsible for Saskatchewan Government Insurance, brought in the bill on Tuesday.
It includes 20 amendments to Automobile Accident Insurance Act.
Crimes triggering a lawsuit will now be expanded to include criminal negligence causing death or bodily harm, criminal negligence causing bodily injury, street racing, or flight from police.
These changes will impact those with no fault, reduced no fault or tort insurance coverage.
The law is expected to be passed during the fall session and come into effect Jan. 1.
Two previously promised recommendations will not become law this year because McMorris says the costs are too high right now.
One is updating amounts paid for living expenses to reflect current market rates, increasing the overall amount available for assistance to those with cognitive impairment and implementing a process for those with no-fault insurance to regularly review the amounts for alignment with market rates.
The other is ending the practice in no-fault coverage of reducing income benefits by the amount a customer receives through Canada Pension Plan disability.
McMorris estimated the cost to implement those recommendations at between $53 and $63 million in the first year with an extra $8 million each year after that.
“That’s a huge cost … we’re not going to back away from it but at this point as a financial decision 1/8we are 3/8 not able to move forward with it,” he said.