No-fault insurance and the Meeting
September 9, 2000 at Castle Theatre in Saskatoon

Saskatoon - September 12, 2000 - by: Mario deSantis

only a

Last Saturday, I had to do some family's errands in Saskatoon and therefore I was able to attend only a portion of the meeting organized by the Coalition Against No-Fault Insurance in Saskatchewan. I arrived a bit late at around 11:00 AM at Castle Theatre, where the meeting was being held, and I left around 3:30 PM when my son Rico, student at the University of Saskatchewan, came to pick me up and show me how he settled down in his new apartment.



summary of
the faults

The meeting was a comprehensive summary of the faults of no-fault insurance, and the passionate and socially concerned speakers highlighted their different perceptions on what is wrong with no-fault.



web site

I took a bike ride this morning with my dog Taly, and along the way I have been reflecting about this no-fault meeting and I thought how educational it would be if a report or a book could be written about all the issues this no fault insurance has brought to the people of Saskatchewan. Lorie Terry, spokesperson for the Coalition, has constructed along with her friends a no-fault web site full of documented evidence of the social wrongs of no-fault(1). This documented evidence, along with the availability of the many resourceful people concerned about a no fault social direction of our governments, would be undoubtedly a powerful source to draw from for a serious writer and researcher.




No-fault in Saskatchewan has drawn attention to our many social wrongs and these wrongs are pointing to a new social direction where individuals become more responsible for their social behaviour and therefore pointing to a more democratic social setting. I mention some of the wrongs raised by no-fault insurance in Saskatchewan: loss of individual responsibilities, political corruption, administrative and organizational corruption, corruption of statistical researches, violation of human rights, corruption of the use of statistics to advance the agendas of the most powerful, corruption of human relations in the workplace, violation of common law and violation of ethical behaviour, corruption of business relationships, and more. This no fault approach advanced by our politicians, bureaucrats and businesses is the culprit for the further loss of our individual freedom and therefore of democracy(2). Yes, I could write the book and highlight all of these faults in nofaultland Saskatchewan, but this is not my interest at this time.




Going back to the Coalition meeting in Saskatoon, I am sorry I could not listen to the presentations of Dr. Rein Lepnurm, Dr. Barry Morris and other speakers, however, I was able to listen to the talks provided by Dr. Michael Freeman, Mr. Gordon Adair, Dr. Bob Russel, Dr. Harold Mersky, and I also listened to a short presentation provided by Coalition member Lorie Terry. The transcripts of this meeting will be made available and at this time I just want to indulge on some comments as they have been triggered by listening to these champions for social changes.



Dr. Michael Freeman's

A very recurring item of Dr. Michael Freeman's talks is the educational understanding that "populations have averages" and that individuals are individuals and that as such they are not averages.



Simulation analysis

I have been an educator and I always felt that students should be rewarded in accordance to the way they achieve and learn the objectives of the courses they take. So I want to tell you this story, it was in the late 80's when I was teaching one introductory class in Statistics at the University of Regina. And you know what my department head Dr. James Tomkins offered me? He offered me the opportunity to know the students' previous marks in mathematics and other subjects so that I could have a reference or correlation for establishing the grades for my students. And you know what I told him? I told him I didn't need any such information. Now, you can understand how statistical correlations can be used to fudge value systems, and this story is an additional reason why I really believe that our quantitative analysis courses at our universities should redimension the role of Statistics in favour of Simulation analysis and modelling! And yes, even in economics, we should emphasize simulation models along with econometric models built as systems of linear equations.



waste of taxpayer

Dr. Bob Russell, family physician in Saskatoon, presented the results of his simplistic survey to check if injured no-fault claimants had recovered at the time of the closure of their claims by Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI). Dr. Russell contacted most of the physicians practicing in Saskatoon and found that most of them didn't believe that their injured no-fault patients had recovered after the closure of their claims by SGI. I now understand that Dr. David Cassidy spent some $2 million to conduct a study on no fault insurance, not one million dollars as I previously thought, and one of the prospective premises of his study was that claim closure was a proxy for recovery. I stated prospective premise since this premise was established after the study was initiated. Dr. Russell's survey shows that Dr. Cassidy's study is a laugh, just a waste of taxpayer money to advance the elitist power agenda of this socialistic government.



Eric Cline

Mr. Bob Adair, Chartered Accountant from British Columbia, opened his presentation referring to the today's articles on no-fault insurance in The StarPhoenix(3)(4). In particular, he referred to a memo written in 1994 by MLA Eric Cline. In this memo, Eric Cline stated that auto insurance rate increases could be avoided without no-fault; however, no-fault legislation was passed, became effective January 1, 1995, and subsequently auto rates were increased. Bob Adair closed his presentation saying that this government should be indexed out of the Legislature



unethical behaviour
of SGI

Dr. Harold Mersky, Professor Emeritus in Psychiatry at the University of Western Ontario, focused his presentation on the unethical behaviour of SGI and he referred to the directive by Larry Fogg, president of SGI, to close claims not when claimants recovered but when the related files were inactive for more than 200 days. Dr. Mersky also referred to the unethical behaviour of SGI in demanding the claimants' consent for the use of their files for research purposes by other agencies outside the jurisdiction of SGI; and he pointed out that there must always be a buffer agency between sponsors of researches and those doing the researches. At the end of Dr. Mersky's presentation I mentioned to him that the relationship between SGI and Dr. Cassidy was not at arm's length since Dr. Cassidy received money directly from SGI and not from the University of Saskatchewan. In fact, I mentioned to him that when Dr. Cassidy left Saskatchewan to join the University of Alberta, University of Saskatchewan officials showed their disappointment to see a lot of research money, I believe some $400,000, going to another province along with him.




Lorie Terry provided the highlights for a range of changes to our auto insurance and her focus was on restoring rights and saving lives(5).
  That is all I have to comment about the meeting, but I look forward to see the long lasting effects of the outstanding work of all the people associated with the Coalition Against No-fault.
  General reference: political and economic articles published by Ensign


Coalition Against No Fault In Saskatchewan, Box 24007, 240 Albert Street, Regina, Saskatchewan S4R 8R8, (306)546-4424,


A trend in Tort Reform laws: No-fault, no individual freedom and no responsibility, by Mario deSantis and reviewed by James deSantis, August 14, 2000


NDP foisted no-fault system on public: study. Threat of auto insurance rate hike used to sell idea, accountants say, by Betty Ann Adam, The StarPhoenix, September 9, 2000, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan


Cline questioned no-fault process, memos show, by Betty Ann Adam, The StarPhoenix, September 9, 2000, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan


Auto Insurance Improvements for Saskatchewan: The Premier Option, by The Coalition Against No-Fault In Saskatchewan, Regina, Saskatchewan