Evidence of meeting #90 for Finance in the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was industry.

A video is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

Luke Harford  President, Beer Canada
Murray Souter  Board Member, Canadian Vintners Association
Carl Sparkes  President and Chief Executive Officer, Devonian Coast Wineries
Joyce Reynolds  Executive Vice-President, Government Affairs, Restaurants Canada
Jan Westcott  President and Chief Executive Officer, Spirits Canada
Frank Rider  Chairman of the Board, Canadian Association of Mutual Insurance Companies
Normand Lafrenière  President, Canadian Association of Mutual Insurance Companies
Nicholas Rivers  Associate Professor, University of Ottawa, As an Individual
Marc André Way  President, Canadian Taxi Association
François Pepin  President of the Council, Transport 2000 Québec
Maëlle Plouganou  Secretary of the Board, Transport 2000 Québec
Louis Marcotte  Director General, International Business Development, Investment and Innovation, Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development
Roger Ermuth  Assistant Comptroller General, Financial Management Sector, Office of the Comptroller General, Treasury Board Secretariat

5:55 p.m.

President, Canadian Association of Mutual Insurance Companies

Normand Lafrenière

Out of a total of approximately 170,000 farms, there are certainly 140,000 who do business with us, the mutual companies or the cooperatives.

5:55 p.m.

Liberal

Robert-Falcon Ouellette Liberal Winnipeg Centre, MB

You said 140,000 farms?

5:55 p.m.

President, Canadian Association of Mutual Insurance Companies

5:55 p.m.

Liberal

Robert-Falcon Ouellette Liberal Winnipeg Centre, MB

Do you have any figures on the fishers?

May 15th, 2017 / 5:55 p.m.

President, Canadian Association of Mutual Insurance Companies

Normand Lafrenière

They are covered by mutual insurance companies that also ensure the farmers, but there is one, the Pacific Coast Fishermen's Mutual Marine Insurance Company, that focuses on fishers. The others are companies that ensure farmers and fishers.

5:55 p.m.

Liberal

Robert-Falcon Ouellette Liberal Winnipeg Centre, MB

Are there data that compare your services to those of larger insurance companies and to insurance companies that are not mutual companies?

5:55 p.m.

President, Canadian Association of Mutual Insurance Companies

Normand Lafrenière

What do you mean?

5:55 p.m.

Liberal

Robert-Falcon Ouellette Liberal Winnipeg Centre, MB

I'm thinking here of a type of graph that would allow us to compare all of the services.

5:55 p.m.

President, Canadian Association of Mutual Insurance Companies

Normand Lafrenière

No.

However, I can tell you that among the joint stock corporations, there are three that benefit from an exemption without deserving it, because of a special provision in the corporate Income Tax Regulations. We asked the government to correct that mistake and to keep the money in the system. But rather than doing that, the government decided to completely abolish the exemption for companies that ensure farmers and fishers. Obviously we are opposed to that. That exemption still provides benefits.

5:55 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Wayne Easter

That's the end of the time, Robert.

5:55 p.m.

Liberal

Robert-Falcon Ouellette Liberal Winnipeg Centre, MB

I have a quick question for Mr. Rivers.

5:55 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Wayne Easter

In your submission on that point, you say that this offer was made on the three companies. Who was that made to? Was it the Department of Finance? Did they give you reasons why it wasn't undertaken?

5:55 p.m.

President, Canadian Association of Mutual Insurance Companies

5:55 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Wayne Easter

But it was made to the department?

5:55 p.m.

President, Canadian Association of Mutual Insurance Companies

Normand Lafrenière

It was made to the department, and also to the minister's office, and to the committees, the fisheries and oceans committee, the agriculture committee, and the House of Commons finance committee.

5:55 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Wayne Easter

Do you have any correspondence of any exchanges that you could make available to us?

5:55 p.m.

President, Canadian Association of Mutual Insurance Companies

5:55 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Wayne Easter

Thank you.

Mr. Albas.

5:55 p.m.

Conservative

Dan Albas Conservative Central Okanagan—Similkameen—Nicola, BC

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

I'm going to go back to the insurance case. Obviously, you can't suddenly offer stock if you need to capitalize and whatnot. Basically, you're going to have to raise fees at some point, and obviously because of this exemption change, there will be higher costs to your members. Is that correct?

5:55 p.m.

President, Canadian Association of Mutual Insurance Companies

5:55 p.m.

Conservative

Dan Albas Conservative Central Okanagan—Similkameen—Nicola, BC

When this committee went to Prince Edward Island, we heard the same thing from many of the fishers there, that they were concerned about rising costs from things like carbon taxes and whatnot. This is an additional increase for them, which certainly I would imagine is a challenge. Have you already heard back from your members about the issue?

6 p.m.

President, Canadian Association of Mutual Insurance Companies

Normand Lafrenière

Well, we have heard back from our members. Of course, they are extremely disappointed to see that go. We also heard from some of the members that their own existence may be at stake in future years if they lose that tax exemption.

6 p.m.

Conservative

Dan Albas Conservative Central Okanagan—Similkameen—Nicola, BC

Really? It's that big a difference on the margins for some people?

6 p.m.

President, Canadian Association of Mutual Insurance Companies

Normand Lafrenière

Many of our companies do more than 50% of their business with farmers. It is their raison d'être, if I can say it that way. Losing the tax exemption is a big issue for them.

6 p.m.

Conservative

Dan Albas Conservative Central Okanagan—Similkameen—Nicola, BC

Basically, your presentation today said please don't do this. Is that what you're asking of the government?