October 6, 2006 by Canadian Underwriter
Prime Minister Stephen Harper has confirmed his acceptance to address members at the Insurance Brokers Association of Ontario (IBAO)’s 86th annual convention, to be held at the Brock Plaza Hotel in Niagara Falls on Oct. 18-20.
Harper will be speaking to approximately 1,000 registered brokers at 1:30 p.m. on Oct. 19. His address will precede a panel discussion of insurance company CEOs, who will address brokers on issues related to the broker distribution channel.
The prime minister’s address follows an active political lobby by brokers during the past year to resist changing regulations in the Bank Act. Brokers wish to maintain restrictions in the act that prevent banks from selling or providing information about insurance products within their local branches.
Harper’s Conservative Party included a promise in its campaign platform to maintain the restrictions in the Bank Act. Since taking power, the government’s finance ministry has produced a white paper outlining recommendations for changing the Bank Act. Brokers and insurers alike have expressed pleasure the white paper did not contain any references to banks selling insurance from their branches, effectively endorsing the existing regulations.
The recommendations in the white paper must still go before Parliament, which is expected to vote on the recommendations sometime during the spring of 2007.
The IBAO has advised that should the prime minister not be able to speak to the convention based on unforeseen circumstances, “his office would do their best to send a cabinet minister in his place.”