Magazine article Risk Management

Quebec Chronicle

Magazine article Risk Management

Quebec Chronicle

Article excerpt

There is one striking feature that distinguishes the Quebec Chapter from all other RIMS chapters: it operates in a bilingual environment. While some from outside of the province might view this situation as one that fosters confusion, Chapter President Diane Wolfson (Domtar Inc.) notes that virtually all risk managers in Quebec are bilingual to a certain degree. Ms. Wolfson adds that the language question is something that the chapter tries to be conscious of and endeavors "to find a good balance between French and English."

Marc Darby (Bombardier Inc.), former RIMS national president (1983-84), recalls that many years back, "virtually every meeting was held in English." Later, bilingual meetings were attempted, but the chapter found it difficult to find enough truly bilingual speakers; and when it did, many of the participants would frequently not understand half of the discussion.

Today, just over half of the meetings tend to be held in French. Questions to speakers from the audience posed in either French or English are always heartily welcomed. The chapter newsletter, which is only a few years old, also is bilingual, with the text printed back-to-back in both languages.

In cooperation with McGill University and the Insurance Institute of Quebec Chronicled Quebec, the chapter offers several risk management courses in English, with accommodation for French-speaking students, as part of the Canadian Risk Management Diploma Program. "Even the name of the chapter itself needs to be identified in both languages-l'Association des Gestionnaires de Risques & d'Assurances du Quebec (AGRAQ) and the Quebec Risk & Insurance Management Association," Mr. Darby adds.

The history of the Quebec Chapter dates back to 1957, when its predecessor, the Montreal Risk & Insurance Management Association (MRIMA), became the Society's first Canadian chapter and 15th chapter overall. In November 1966, MRIMA met with the Toronto Insurance Buyers' Association (TIBA)--the predecessor of the Ontario Risk and Insurance Management Society (ORIMS)--to co-sponsor a comprehensive three-day insurance workshop in Kingston, Ontario. Participants explored a variety of topics such as current Canadian legislation affecting the insurance market. This workshop would later evolve into the annual Canadian Risk Management Conference.

With Montreal hosting the 1972 RIMS Annual Conference, the Society saw a 40 percent increase in attendance over the previous year's annual conference. …

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