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March 2011 At a Glance

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By Micheline Dionne, FCIA
CIA President

Amendments to Rules 6 and 13 – Revision of the process

During the drafting of Rules 6 and 13, the task force conducted a survey to determine what the other actuarial associations and professional communities were doing and the importance they were attaching to their Rule 13. "Why?" came the response. "That rule affects so few people!"

Well, the CIA never does things like everyone else, and its treatment of – and recent debate on – Rule 13 are no exception: 455 members followed the debate on the amendments listserver, 163 signed up for the February 26 webcast and 386 voted on the question. Given the attendance at recent annual meetings, one could say that we’ve reached new heights in terms of participation. This approach, therefore, seems like the right way to go. Of course, we’d prefer to see 3,000 members participate, but that would be pie in the sky!

During the exchange period, we received a number of verbal comments claiming a lack of interest by the CIA in the opinions expressed by its members. To counter this perception, Daniel Pellerin, who was originally going to reply to comments only once a week, graciously agreed to reply more often. We were surprised, then, to read that the frequency of his replies could be construed as intimidation. So how do we go about communicating sufficiently without giving the impression of abusing the process? Judging by this first experience, it seems it would have been preferable to indicate right from day one that the CIA would weigh in only once a week. Knowing this in advance, we would have anticipated this perception of a lack of interest on the CIA’s part, while at the same time featuring divergent opinions more prominently. We apologize if some people saw what we were doing as intimidation. We’ll try to do better next time.

Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) Symposium, March 15 and 16

Thirty-eight members attended the networking breakfast held for Canadians. It’s nice to see the interest in this new area of practice and the vitality exhibited by its young (and not so young) practitioners. Keep up the good work, because much of what the future of the profession has to offer is in your hands!

Federal government budget lockup, March 22

The CIA received an invitation to study the federal budget during the lockup preceding its official unveiling. There was a definite buzz in the room as we pored over the documents made available to us in search of progress on the pension plan front, but sadly all we found were promises of studies on pension plans and employment insurance. In any event, the simultaneous announcement of potential elections took the spotlight away from the budget, and none of our interviews – of which there were too few to begin with – was broadcast. Be that as it may, we’ll have our chance, because the upcoming elections will certainly afford us the opportunity to question the parties on their policies concerning pension plans, employment insurance and health care, and to get our views across.

March 23 Board meeting

March 23 was quite a busy day. Agenda items included the University Accreditation Program, recognition of associateship and the Society of Actuaries’ (SOA) new strategy for Canada. More information about the first two items is on its way. As for the SOA’s Canadian strategy, we are in close discussions with them. While applauding their desire to better serve Canadians, we hope that the services they will be introducing complement those already being received by Canadians. Service duplication would be regrettable. More specifically, we could benefit from their research expertise in areas where the Americans have the lead over Canada, such as health care, for instance.

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to write me at

Micheline Dionne, FCIA, is the President of the Canadian Institute of Actuaries.


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