January 22, 2018 13:30
Maxime Gauthier, Alain Paquet, and Bertrand Larocque
The liberal government has found new opponents in its efforts to adopt the draft law 141. The former minister, Alain Paquet, Bertrand Larocque, professional, well-known in the industry and Maxime Gauthier, chief compliance officer at Mérici Services financiers, have joined forces to make their voices heard.
Their list of complaints against bill 141 is long : the elimination of important rules, easing concern the preference to vendors rather than professionals, and lack of accountability are just a few.
Consumers are the big losers
«This is a bill that makes big winners, financial institutions as well as insurers, and big losers, the consumer. It is very disturbing. These aspects of the bill offer a return back about 30 years ago, a time when commercial interests took precedence over those of citizens. The minister will continue to consult and accept to listen to those who don’t think like him. We hold out our hand «, has launched Mr. Paquet.
Refusal to hear them
In an interview with the Journal of insurance, they have confided that they would have wanted to hear the minister Carlos J. Leitão. However, we do not invited to do so. Everything is surprising when one considers that Mr. Paquet is a former minister for Finance for the liberal Party of Quebec. He even chaired the Committee on public finance, which held hearings on bill 141. He was a member from 2003 to 2014.
That’s not a problem, he is invited to the table, reflecting in the company of representatives ofOption consommateurs and of the Coalition des associations de consommateurs du Québec. He does not hide that his presence has caused some surprise in the hearings of the parliamentary commission.
We didn’t want to hear
The three men are adamant. If they have not been heard by the parliamentary commission, it is because the government did not want to hear their voice. Mr. Paquet said he was surprised that only 29 groups have been heard in the context of this parliamentary committee which examines a bill which includes 700 articles. They claim that they would be called if someone was withdrawing. This was not the case, they say.
Mr. Larocque also said dubious in face of the fact that theInstitut québécois of financial planning (IQPF) is replaced by the agenda of the Committee on public finance by theAssociation of the industry of automated teller machines ATM. «It was found good. It shows that you did not want to hear us, » he said.
No long-term planning
Mr. Gauthier said worry about the lack of long-term planning in the face of the introduction of bill 141. «We wanted to be heard on these points. I have respect for the minister and for the process of consultation. Unfortunately, we did not have this same respect. That is why we are together and that we are given the right to speak, » he says.
The three men insist they have no plan for the future. They say they don’t want to go further than to give their point of view on the matter if asked.
Rosaire Bertrand is also concerned
Mr. Paquet has also made the approach to join Rosaire Bertrand, former minister in the parti québécois and former president of the Commission of public finances. Mr. Bertrand was not able to join the trio for health reasons. Mr. Paquet has, however, obtained the permission of Mr. Bertrand to know that he shared their concerns about the provisions of bill 141.
Moreover, a point which is of particular concern because in their eyes, bill 141 speaks of the products and not advice. «This is stupid ! «, say they.
«The Earth will stop spinning»
The three men wonder why the government is in such a hurry to pass this bill. Mr. Gauthier is launching that the government gives the impression that the Earth will stop turning if it is not, an argument to a resumption of large financial institutions, » he said.
The three men throw a warning to financial institutions in a hurry to see the bill be adopted. «They are not against the consumer. However, they always act in their interest first. Have they thought about the implications of bill 141 in five or ten years ? I am not convinced, » said Mr. Paquet.
How to judge a regulation that is not written ?
Maxime Gauthier adds that the bill 141 comes before any filling of holes, what it deems to be abnormal. «This is not what should be a bill,» he said.
It gives for example the sale of insurance via the Internet. The project of act 141 indicates that thefinancial markets Authority will provide a framework for the regulate. «How can you be sure that it will be adequate ? We didn’t even see it ! «
Mr. Gauthier said to have a lot of respect for the Authority and its CEO Louis Morisset. It considers, however, difficult as the latter had to testify before the minister of Finance, who is ultimately her boss. «Is this healthy ? «questions there.