Canadian Underwriter

How COVID will impact the AGM of Canada’s national broker association

June 4, 2020   by Greg Meckbach

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The Insurance Brokers Association of Canada (IBAC)’s annual general meeting, originally scheduled this September in New Brunswick, will not be conducted in person.

“We all know that we are in the throes of a global pandemic that hasn’t been experienced in over a century and may never be experienced in many of our lifetimes again,” IBAC president Kent Rowe wrote in a recently-released letter to members. “Like everyone, we’ve had to change the way that we conduct business in a pretty significant way.”

Since the World Health Organization declared Mar. 11 that COVID-19 is a pandemic, most industries have been hit with cancellations of in-person events and states of emergency declared by Canadian provinces and territories.

New Brunswick moved to the “yellow phase” of its COVID-19 recovery plan on May 22, allowing barbers and hair stylists to reopen as well as churches and fitness facilities, the Canadian Press reports. Dental care, massage, chiropractors and other “close contact” businesses and services could also reopen in New Brunswick.

But the in-person IBAC AGM is not taking place this September.

“We’ve had to find new ways to continue to do the important work of our executive, board, staff and committees,” Rowe wrote in his May 22 update to IBAC members. “Although none of this work is happening face-to-face, it is still happening.”

Several industry events have either been cancelled outright or changed to a webinar format. For example, this year’s Insurance Issues Conference will be held by virtually, organizer KPMG Canada told Canadian Underwriter recently.

KPMG Canada held its 28th annual insurance Issues conference Nov. 28, 2019, at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. Each year, KPMG’s annual conference has featured a “fireside chat” with Neville Henderson, the assistant superintendent of the federal Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI), who runs the insurance supervision sector.

For its part, MSA Research announced April 28 that the National Insurance Conference of Canada – originally scheduled Sept. 30 through Oct. 2 in Ottawa – is cancelled.

MSA plans to resume NICC, which rotates among major Canadian cities, in 2021.

For its part, IBAC cancelled Hill Day, its flagship advocacy event at Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Rowe noted in his letter to members.


Feature image via bennett

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