On October 19, the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association (CLHIA) held its inaugural advocacy day on Parliament Hill. The event was planned to familiarize parliamentarians with the industry, and to communicate a number of key messages.

A delegation led by Alain Neemeh, CLHIA chair, met with senators and MPs from both opposition and government whose ridings include substantial life and health insurance operations and who play a role in the discussions on issues of interest to the industry.

Issues discussed included the industry’s role as a driver of the Canadian economy as both investor and employer; the financial support it provides to more than 26 million Canadians; and its international scope as an industry active in 21 countries and including three companies ranking in the top ten of the world’s largest life insurers.

Discussion also focused on the issue of financial security for Canadians’ retirement and health care.

Earlier this year the CLHIA released a position paper on saving for retirement, which lays out a number of proposals including amending legislation to permit any employer to participate in a DC multi-employer pension plan. A joint federal/provincial working group has been established to examine that proposal.

The CLHIA delegation also discussed its position on Canada’s health care system and the recommendations in the CLHIA policy report, released last year, for ensuring a sustainable health care system for all Canadians.

Janice Hilchie, is vice-president, legislative relations with the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association