CIA (e)Bulletin/(e)Bulletin de l'ICA
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October 2015

Federal Election Round-Up

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By Elliot Hughes, MBA

Welcome to Public Affairs Corner, a new feature of the CIA’s revamped (e)Bulletin. Published quarterly, the goal of this update is to keep CIA members up to speed on the various public affairs activities undertaken by the CIA. And since this is the first time trying something like this I’m keen to hear what you think I have right, what I have wrong, and what I could improve. So please e-mail me your thoughts at I’m looking forward to hearing from you.

As some might have heard, the longest modern-day federal election campaign came to a close on Monday, October 19. Somewhat unexpectedly, the Liberal Party of Canada was elected with a solid majority with a mandate for change. But with an ambitious agenda (i.e., infrastructure spending, democratic reform, and climate change), an engaged electorate (high turnout, new voters), and a resilient Conservative opposition, Prime Minister-designate Trudeau will have his hands full.

Two files in particular will have us monitoring federal activity quite closely. First, the Liberal Party’s campaign commitment to "provide Canadians with a more secure retirement" is a topic of importance to actuaries. While the CIA welcomes the change in tone around the federal government working with the provinces and territories on this critical file, the devil, as they say, is in the details. Second, the Liberals made significant commitments to address the challenges faced in the health care space. Negotiating a new Health Accord, investing $3 billion in home care services, and developing a "pan-Canadian collaboration on health innovation", are just a few of the promises a Trudeau government will have to keep. It goes without saying, the CIA will have plenty to say about these and many other government undertakings.

Fortunately, the CIA is well-positioned to be part of the expected public policy debates after the Board re-confirmed its desire to take an active and engaged position on public policy. This commitment came about after a good discussion at the Board level where it was reiterated that any contribution would be done thoughtfully and only when relevant.

This type of approach and engagement broadly reflects the results of a recent impression audit commissioned by the CIA. An impression audit, or perception audit, is a form of qualitative research designed to understand the profile and impact of one’s business and profession, and explore possible future directions. Working closely with the renowned strategy and research firm Greenberg Quinlan Rosner, the CIA was able to do the following:

  • Assess the current profile and image of actuaries and the CIA;
  • Explore drivers of perceptions – visibility and personal experience;
  • Assess current CIA engagement with its issue agenda – tone, voice, and value;
  • Identify future directions and openings for engagement; and
  • Explore potential involvement with relevant policy issues.

Needless to say, the results are fascinating and will provide the Board with much to consider. If you’re keen to learn more about the results, stay tuned for details on an upcoming webcast.

Finally, while we may have put the brakes on face-to-face engagement with the federal government during the election, the number of meetings with the provinces on a variety of files continued. These included the following:

  • Witnesses to the Québec government’s public hearing on Bill 57, An Act to amend the Supplemental Pension Plans Act, mainly with respect to the funding of defined benefit pension plans. Watch the video.
  • Ontario’s Office of the Deputy Premier and President of the Treasury Board to discuss the announcement on the creation of the Centre of Excellence for Evidence-Based Decision Making Support.
  • The government of Ontario’s Broader Public Sector Pensions Branch to discuss elements of the CIA’s submission to the Ontario Ministry of Finance on its Proposed Criteria for Exempting New Broader Public Sector (BPS) Multi-Employer JSPPs from Solvency Funding Requirements.
  • Participating in a round-table discussion on a Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO)/Financial Services Tribunal (FST)/Deposit Insurance Corporation of Ontario (DICO) mandate review, on the back of a well-received written submission from the CIA.
  • Several productive meetings with Minister Hunter and officials from the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan (ORPP) Implementation Secretariat.

It’s been a busy few months for public affairs and the CIA, though the expectation is that there’s much more in store. Watch this space.

That wraps up this edition, but as I mentioned at the start, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me at any time, on any issue, by e-mailing I appreciate your taking the time to read this update and look forward to engaging with you in the future.

Elliot Hughes, MBA, is public affairs manager at the CIA Head Office.


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