November 21, 2017
The following general update was approved at the November 21, 2017 meeting of the IBAS board of directors:
2017 IBAS Convention
The 2017 IBAS Convention was held Oct. 12-13 at the Sheraton Cavalier and James Hotel in Saskatoon. This year’s attendance was the largest in recent memory, and featured a sold-out trade show as bustling hospitality rooms, sponsored by SGI, Wawanesa, and Intact. The annual President’s Gala also served as a farewell to outgoing IBAS Executive Director Ernie Gaschler, who retired in the spring after 25 years of service.
Leadership Candidate Roundtables
Throughout October and November, IBAS member delegations met one-on-one with each of the leadership candidates from the province’s two main political parties. The purpose of these discussions was to facilitate an open and two-way dialogue on the challenges facing brokers, consumers, and the Saskatchewan insurance community at-large.
While the scope of the conversations varied from candidate to candidate, they all focused primarily on four general issues: PST on insurance premiums, changes to The Insurance Act, the privatization of Crown corporations, and policy mechanisms to stimulate continued economic growth.
The Insurance Act
IBAS continues its work to address broker and consumer concerns around changes to the revised Insurance Act, which is expected to be proclaimed this fall. Bill No. 73, The Insurance Amendment Act, 2017, also received its first reading in the Legislature on October 31.
As part of its advocacy efforts over the past two-and-ahalf months, IBAS has met with: Hon. Don Morgan, Minister of Justice & Attorney General; Hon. Joe Hargrave, Minister Responsible for SGI; as well as the chairperson and senior representatives from the Financial and Consumer Affairs Authority.
PST on Insurance Premiums
Through its leadership candidate roundtables and other private consultations, IBAS has been ademant in its position that the government should immediately restore the PST exemption on all insurance premiums — at minimum, until a full review can be completed exploring the potential short- and long-term impacts on consumers, business competitiveness, and the social services system.
Consumers today face mounting financial pressures, from slow economic growth to rising taxes. Families and businesses alike are feeling the pinch. By adding the six per cent PST onto insurance premiums — on top of the taxes already collected by the Province under the Insurance Premiums Tax Act — the government is discouraging citizens to invest in their financial security and protect themselves from unexpected hardships.
IBAS also remains concerned of the compounding effect that the new application of PST on construction services will have on claims and, consequently, premiums.
At the request of the Ministry of Finance, IBAS submitted a letter on this issue to Hon. Donna Harpauer, dated November 14, for consideration in the 2018-19 provincial budgeting process.
IBAS Staff Changes
On November 1, Derek Lothian officially assumed his post as IBAS’s new Chief Executive Officer. Shortly thereafter, on November 13, IBAS welcomed Virginia Davis as the association’s new Coordinator, Member & Public Relations. Brianne McBride, who has held the position of Membership Coordinator for the past year, has accepted the role of Manager, Professional Development.
In Premier Brad Wall’s final Speech from the Throne this past October, he announced the government’s intention to repeal the controversial Bill 40, which allows for the minority sale of Crown corporations (up to 49 per cent).
Auto Licensing Course
IBAS has completed the development of a new Extended Auto Licensing Course to meet the demand for training that does not require enrollment in the SGI New Issuer Training Course. The program will be posted on the IBAS website and available for registration soon.
YBN Christmas Mixer
The Saskatchewan Young Brokers Network hosted an ‘under 40’ Christmas Mixer on September 29 at Hudson’s Canadian Tap House in Saskatoon. The event was very well attended.
Broker Identity Program
The IBAC BIP committee met on November 9. The upcoming national marketing campaign will feature a mix of 40 per cent television and 60 per cent digital advertising. The committee reviewed several new ads and had a first look at concept art for a new BIP logo. The BIP logo re-design project is still in the early stages of development and is expected to be completed in 2018.
The IBAS Broker Website Program, which provides website services to more than 90 member brokers, is currently scheduled for an update. We hope to provide a far better user experience with a massive visual overhaul and update the sites to be 100 per cent mobile friendly.
IBAS recently added an official LinkedIn page to its suite of social media accounts, which also includes Facebook and Twitter (@SKBrokers).
The 2018 WHL jersey contest deadline to order jerseys was November 10, and is now closed. Each brokerage that ordered a jersey will display their jersey from mid-January through March 10, after which they will award it to their winning client. Also, each participating brokerage will automatically be entered into a provincial draw to win a $500 cash card. Finally, the MasterCard Memorial Cup contest will be held separately again this year in order to ensure that all brokerage clients have the chance to win. More details on that will be available in the spring.