Video Update on Busy Time for CIA Board

To view the video, click on the image above, or click here. Below is a transcript:

Hello. My name is Jacques Tremblay and I am President of the Canadian Institute of Actuaries.

As many of you will know, I have started to use video to communicate with you more directly. It is different from newsletters or written reports, and I hope that you will find it valuable!

This month, I would like to focus on some of the meetings that the CIA has participated in with other actuarial associations, government bodies, and officials. Our goal is to move our strategic plan forward in the public interest.

At the end of June, Actuarial Standards Board member Conrad Ferguson and CIA staff actuary Joseph Gabriel participated at a round-table meeting of pension experts, actuaries, and Minister of State Kevin Sorenson. This was our second meeting on the topic as Barbara Sanders—who chairs our Task Force on Target Benefit Pension Plans—Past President Jacques Lafrance, and Joseph Gabriel met with eight Finance and OSFI staff at the end of May. The future regulation of target benefit plans is a topic of concern for the minister and a major consultation was launched by Finance Canada earlier this year. You can find our submission on the CIA website, under the Outreach menu.

One day after I took on the President’s job, we were informed that the Office of the Privacy Commissioner or OPC was going to be releasing a new statement on sharing the results of genetic testing with insurers. Little did I know that this issue was going to emerge as something critically important to governments. The CIA was well prepared, having established the Task Force on Genetic Testing in 2013, which had a statement on the topic that was days away from approval and which had commissioned some very impactful research in support of a CIA position.

The Member Services Council was about to approve the CIA’s statement on the topic along with a research report written by Bob Howard titled Genetic Testing Model: If Underwriters Had No Access to Known Results. We asked the OPC to postpone its release until it had the opportunity to review our statement and the research.

On July 10, the CIA Executive Director Michel Simard, Bob Howard, and I met with the OPC’s senior counsel Patricia Kosseim and its senior policy analyst Carman Baggaley to share our respective work. It was a very productive meeting as Bob’s paper and model were more comprehensive than the work the OPC was using, and we were made aware of many subtleties in the OPC’s position. We were invited to come back and to meet with a larger audience and to present the findings of the research in finer detail.

In early August, Rob Stapleford, Jacques Lafrance, Michel Simard, and I met with the American Academy of Actuaries (AAA) president Tom Terry, president-elect Mary Miller, immediate past president Cecil Bykerk, past president Ken Hohman, executive director Mary Downs, and director of policy Craig Hanna. Some of what the CIA does in Canada is very similar to the work the AAA performs and both groups wanted to explore avenues of collaboration, notably on professionalism, ethics, and policy issue management.

At the International Actuarial Association meeting in London in early September, Michel Simard and I held several bilateral meetings with other actuarial associations.

We met with Society of Actuaries (SOA) president Mark Freedman, president-elect Errol Cramer, past president Tonya Harding, and executive director Greg Heidrich. The discussion focused on an invitation for the CIA to make a presentation to the SOA Board at its Annual Meeting in October, the Cross-Border Discipline Agreement, and the continuing work on a memorandum of understanding on education.

Michel and I met with Dr. Michel Maila, president of the Global Risk Institute in Financial Services. James Wood, managing director of member relations and communications, and Michael Stramaglia, executive in residence, were also at the meeting, which was aimed at exchanging information on our respective missions and programs and exploring avenues of potential cooperation. I see some great results emerging from this relationship, especially for enterprise risk management (ERM) practitioners.

On September 16, Bob Howard and Jacques Boudreau, who chairs our Committee on Genetic Testing, were invited to a conference call of the Canadian Association of Statutory Human Rights Agencies, which is composed of human rights commissioners and their respective staffs. Several provinces are considering legislation regarding the sharing of the results of genetic tests, and the primary advisors were on the call. Bob and Jacques presented the CIA’s new statement on genetic testing and Bob’s research paper.

On September 18, Bob Howard, Michel Simard, and I met with Daniel Therrien, Privacy Commissioner of Canada, Patricia Kosseim, and Carman Baggaley, along with Frank Swedlove, president of the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association (CLHIA), and Frank Zinatelli, vice-president and general counsel of the CLHIA. It was interesting to see how deeply the commissioner and his staff have dug into this topic and how knowledgeable they have become. It was a very productive and engaging meeting.

On September 29, I attended the ERM Symposium in Chicago and connected with Canadian ERM practitioners at a breakfast session that we host each year. This is a very informal event, meant to help attendees network and meet colleagues in the practice area, and my role was to outline the increasing importance of ERM for the Institute.

On the same day, Bob Howard and Jacques Boudreau testified before the Standing Senate Committee on Human Rights. The Committee is studying Bill S-201, An Act to prohibit and prevent genetic discrimination. You can watch a recording of the session by going to the Senate Committee’s website or by clicking on a link to the CIA announcement from September 29. It’s a fascinating process and the Institute was able to deliver some very good messages about our statement and Bob’s excellent research.

So, that was a whirlwind tour of some of the important meetings the CIA has been part of over the last few months. There were many more: for example, outreach meetings with employers and regulators—with more to come, including a meeting with the Associate Minister of Finance for Ontario to talk about actuaries and the pension field. More on that in a future video.

See you next month!

Jacques Tremblay, FCIA, is President of the Canadian Institute of Actuaries.

Canadian Institute of Actuaries/Institut canadien des actuaires