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Bill 141 : the consumers are in danger, say Alain Paquet and Louis Cyr

by

Hubert Roy

14 February 2018 13:30

Louis Cyr (photo : Réjean Meloche) and Alain Paquet

In an open letter published in le Devoir Tuesday, Louis Cyr, Alain Paquet , and 15 other personalities have voiced their concerns regarding the proposed act 141. They claim that there is a major reduction for the protection of the public.

In interviews conducted separately, the two instigators of the letter, Louis Cyr, and Alain Paquet, develop more their about. They say that bill 141 is a danger to the consumers in québec and are replete with examples to support it. The advantages conferred to insurers, the disappearance of the Rooms and the treatment of the consumer during a disaster, or a complaint to worry at the highest point.

A common denominator

The economist and academic Alain Paquet, also a former minister for Finance, says that a common denominator has brought together 17 signatories to the letter : the protection of the public. They are all related near or far, the financial community, but backgrounds of renowned. It contains the signatures of Claude Béland, former president of the Desjardins group, and also that of Rosaire Bertrand, former president of the Commission of public finances.

Mr. Paquet, once elected the liberal Party of Quebec, points out that this issue transcends political parties, recalling that Rosaire Bertrand was a member of the Parti Québécois. Mr. Paquet also invited the current parliamentarians to ask the right questions when the reading article-by-article bill 141 will be, encouraging them to keep the protection of the public in mind. He admits also raising the awareness of members that they cross each other in the cause.

«We remove the police ! »

Louis Cyr, well-known for his years spent as a columnist on the radio under the name of the strong man of the insurance, is now president of Louis Cyr Assurances and Juriance. In his firms, he said not to deal with the individual consumer, and work only in insurance of medium and large enterprises. He said he was, however, very anxious in the face of what is happening now.

The abolition of the Chamber of damage insurance and of the Chambre de la sécurité financière of particular concern. «We remove the police ! This would benefit only large financial institutions, and to the disadvantage of the public and professionals of the industry, » he laments.

For Mr. Cyr, if bill 141 is adopted in its current form, the insurer shall have the right to do the investigation that the ices in a complaint. The consumer may of course file a complaint to theAuthority for the financial markets, admits Mr. Cyr. He does not, however, a good eye as to the Authority handles consumer complaints and the supervision of financial institutions.

«To file a complaint against a doctor, the College of physicians. If the current form of the bill 141 goes ahead, insurers will be stronger than the law. «

An investigation without a trace

Alain Paquet pushes his reflection further. He emphasizes that when there is a breach of ethics, the consumer may turn to the Chambers, leading to an investigation of their trustee. After a judgment, the consumer can even make a call, free of charge, » he recalls. All of this will disappear with the adoption of the draft law 141, he says.

«If the consumer must make his complaint to the insurer, there will be two options. The first is to agree with him on compensation. If he does not agree, he shall return before the administrative Tribunal of the financial services, at its own expense. If it is in agreement with the insurer before getting there, there will be no more traces of any investigation conducted. A trustee leaves a record of an investigation. We can draw lessons from this investigation, and even improve the regulation accordingly. This is what concerns me ! I wonder what it hides of another, » said Mr. Paquet.

Systemic risk

The extent of the Desjardins group, a financial institution’s systemic of bill 141 is irritating particularly MESSRS. Package and Cyr. They do say they are not against the measure, but they wonder if the revision of the laws governing the financial sector is the right place to make this decision.

According to Mr. Pack, who was mla for almost a decade, the whole thing would have been achieved other than by its inclusion in bill 141, and may even be able to be adopted without a bill. And he wonders why this measurement is found.

«It is necessary to evaluate what is best for the protection of the public, but the bill 141 goes against this principle. It also goes against what the previous governments, even that of which I was part. The issue of the protection of the public has never been treated in any partisan manner before. When I hear the Quebec minister of Finance Carlos J. Leitão, or even Guy Cormier, president of Mouvement Desjardins, to say that it will be better, this is not enough ! The disappearance of the Rooms is a problem in itself. It must be built on a business case solid. This is not the case at this time. The debate must continue «, said Mr. Paquet.

To scandals in the headlines

Louis Cyr adds, for its part, with the issue of the sale of insurance via the Internet. He feared to see cases of people underinsured end up in nothing, because they have misunderstood the result of a major disaster. It shows for example the case of a young family whose house would have been burned, but who would refuse reconstruction because it has not ticked the correct box and would not have understood the implications.

Moreover, Mr. Cyr asks what would happen if, in addition, the insurer of the family is also her mortgagee, a situation made possible if the insurer is Desjardins. This will lead it directly to a personal bankruptcy, he believes. And how could she fight to assert its rights before a court if the members do not have any more income ? They will no longer be able to rely on a trustee to investigate, he says.

«There is a conflict of interest ! Such a practice is prohibited around the world because the danger is too great for the consumer ! Why give such a favour to the Desjardins group ? «questions there.

The case of Samuel Archibald

MESSRS. Cyr and Package emphasize that the industry has had a glimpse of these scandals have potential in the beginning of the week, with the case of Samuel Archibald, who has made a storm on the social networks and put the Desjardins group in embarrassment. The author and professor at theUniversité du Québec à Montréal (UQAM), who suffers from depression and is on sick leave since the fall, said she be denied her disability benefits after that Desjardins has had wind of certain professional activities that would be held during his / her leave. Desjardins group has indicated since that he is reviewing his case.

Mr. Paquet pointed out that this case for group insurance is particularly convincing. In this case, the employer owns the copy of the insurance policy, not the employee. The worker had a simple leaflet. Even if he had a complete copy of the font, read it in full ? «We should have a global vision of these issues. «

The 17 signatories of the open letter

Alain Paquet, professor, ESG-UQAM, and a former minister for Finance ;

Louis Cyr, president, Louis Cyr Assurances ;

Christian Corbeil, executive director, Option consommateurs ;

Rebecca Bleau, coordinator, Coalition des associations de consommateurs du Québec ;

Robert Pouliot, co-founder, Coalition for the protection of investors and a former executive director, FAIR Canada ;

Me Yves Joli-Coeur, lawyer emeritus, Grouping of managers and owners of Québec ;

Me and Claude Béland, former president, Desjardins group ;

Patrice Deslauriers, professor in the faculty of law, University of Montreal ;

Alain Giroux, co-founder, Forum Risk and Insurance inc. ;

Guy Duhaime, president, Groupe Financier Multi Courtage ;

Me Maxime Gauthier, chief compliance officer, Mérici services financiers ;

Fabien Major, senior partner, member of the board Elite of the president, Assante ;

Daniel Leduc, president, council of representatives of SFL ;

Bertrand Larocque, vice-president, Association of professional advisors in financial services ;

Yves Le May, consultant in insurance of persons ;

Gino-Sebastian Savard, president, MICA financial services firm,

Rosaire Bertrand, former president of the Commission of public finances (PQ)

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