Nine days before winter-rated tires are mandatory on B.C. rural highways, a B.C. Liberal contender for the Kamloops-North Thompson nomination is rolling out a “fresh idea,” a tire subsidy for all rural residents.
Michael Grenier, who last week declared his intention to run for the nomination, made his second policy pitch Thursday outside the TNRD Civic Building.
“What’s my program? Simply put, a $225 credit to be applied against the installation of four snow tires for rural Kamloops-North Thompson residents,” Grenier told reporters.
His proposed three-year pilot program would be administer by ICBC at the time of plate renewal. The average cost for a set of snows installed on a pickup truck is about $1,600, he noted.
“The aim of the program is, No.1, to improve safety on rural North Thompson roads. Two, to help rural residents with a significant and essentially unavoidable expense. They don’t have an option. The transportation routes that they live on, they must have this, and they have to do this every two to three years.”
Grenier said he developed the idea after speaking with North Thompson residents, including TNRD representatives.
The snow tire credit would be applicable at ICBC-approved tire centres in the riding, resulting in what he estimates to be a $8.4-million benefit over the life of the pilot project.
About 5,400 vehicles would be eligible.
And the cost?
“The provincial sales tax collected at the time of sale … covers roughly 43 percent of this program. That means that the estimated net program cost … is roughly $230,000 for three years.
On a per capita basis, that’s $17 per resident for three years.
“So I think, bang for buck, this is a pretty good bang.”
Grenier also touted the Clark government’s track record in highway improvements in the riding.
Last week, Grenier proposed a multi-faceted plan to develop the regional economy through increased flights to Kamloops Airport.
He said he’s in the race for the nomination — challenging Mayor Peter Milobar and Steven Puhallo, NSBIA manager — to offer fresh ideas.