Magazine article Risk Management

Lobbying, Canadian-Style

Magazine article Risk Management

Lobbying, Canadian-Style

Article excerpt

In this column in August, Lance Ewing set out some ideas on how to lobby for the laws and regulations that govern the United States market lace. This month, I will expand on that topic from a Canadian perspective.

The political situation in Canada is very similar to that in the United States. One difference, however, is that the elected members of the Canadian government, federal or provincial, seem to be more strongly required to support the governing party's policies. There are, of course, issues on which party members vote based solely on their own convictions, and issues where there may be sufficient public interest to justify grassroots lobbying. In the risk management picture, however, such issues have been the exception rather than the rule.

Due to this party policy system, RIMS has found it far more effective in most cases to concentrate lobbying on the minister or ministry responsible for the legislation under discussion, as opposed to the members of parliament in their home ridings. There are many opportunities for Canadian risk managers to send suggestions and advice to various governmental bodies that can further the best interests of our employers and profession. One way is to initiate and maintain close connections with our insurance regulators. Invite them or members of their staff to chapter meetings, either as guests or participants. Keep them informed of your chapter's reactions to various developments that merit their attention.

Make a point of participating in any public consultations regarding legislation or regulation that could impact on any issues related to risk management. Submit your comments as close as possible to the legislative stage where ideas germinate and are developed-do not wait for draft legislation to become available for review and comment. This means reviewing task force reports, select committee papers, background reports, white papers and other preliminary documents.

Practices to Avoid

Do not submit only negative comments. Positive feedback can help prevent proposed actions from being skewed further or in another direction. …

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