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Carlos Leitão a u-turn and maintains the two Chambers reluctantly

by

Denis Méthot

June 6, 2018 09:00

Carlos J. Leitão, and Nicolas Marceau | Photos : Denis Méthot

The parliamentary Commission on public Finance has been the theatre yesterday, Tuesday 5 June, at Quebec, a reversal of the jacket is spectacular.

From the beginning of the session, the minister Carlos Leitão announced that he was relinquishing to integrate the Chambre de la sécurité financière (CSF) and the Chamber of damage insurance (ChAD) to theAutorité des marchés financiers (AMF). The two agencies’autoréglementation will thus continue to exist separately and evolve within the framework of their mandate of consumer protection through the oversight of the ethical practice of licensees.

Reluctantly

Maybe it was the price to pay to secure the adoption of his bill 141 by June 15. There was a feeling in the comments that he issued to his colleagues that he accepted the compromise reluctantly.

«I still think it is a very bad idea, and that it would be important to have a single authority structure that it could intervene in a comprehensive and coherent, he commented in a tone resigned. Leaving the Rooms continue to operate the way they operate, it is exposed to risks of duplication and inconsistency and I really hope that there will be no event untoward in the meantime. I think that a future legislature will need to agree the best way to frame the actors of the financial system. But for the moment, we are withdrawing the proposal (the draft law) and the two Chambers continue to exist. «

According to Carlos Leitão, 4/5 of bill 141 have already been voted on and adopted. He also stressed that parliamentarians had reached a crucial stage for the rest of the things. It has therefore given on the question of the Rooms 10 days of the end of the parliamentary session as he had appeared intractable until now.

A different diagnosis

«I think it is a very good compromise, has responded to the member pq of Rousseau, Nicolas Marceau, who had made the maintenance of the Rooms as one of its major workhorses. The minister and I do not make the same diagnosis. I think the current model works well and I believe in the virtues of the’autoréglementation. «

He recalled that there was no consensus for the abolition of the Chambers and their integration to the AMF. Some in the industry were favourable, while others, such as consumer associations, were opposed, he added.

«When one wants to introduce provisions to protect the consumers and, as they say, «No, I don’t want that», it is necessary to ask questions, continued Nicolas Marceau. In this context, when there is not adherence to some elements of the draft legislation, I think it is worth to take some time off. Other than us during this legislature will find a better solution if there is one. I think that there is a way to improve the current system and that is what we will be getting in the future. «

Politics is the art of compromise

The mp caquiste Granby, François Bonnardel, who was also opposed to the abolition of the Rooms, welcomed the about-face of the minister Leitão.

«I think it shows today that politics is the art of compromise, he said. The minister and the oppositions have managed to agree on subjects that were certainly contested. Some people today see that the minister has put water in his wine (…) There is a compromise to meet a lot of people. The two Chambers will regain their own autonomy and continue to work in the same direction as they came to be known, to defend the interests of consumers before anything else. «

Even if parliamentarians are to come to a consensus, the maintenance of the Rooms is not yet formalized. The amendments to bill 141, which will be filed and made public today, Wednesday, June 6, at the resumption of the work of the Committee on public finance. We will then know if they are adopted at the same meeting.

Sources have, however, entrusted to the Log of the insurance that the study by article by bill 141 should be completed this evening, given the shutdown of parliamentary business Thursday and Friday 7 and 8 June for the holding of the G7 summit, which is taking place in La Malbaie, in Charlevoix.

In this context, the Committee on public finance would adopt this evening, its final report, which would then be tabled in the national Assembly for adoption in the beginning of the week.

Compromise on other points

In addition to the thorny question of the Chambers, the government, the Parti québécois and the Coalition Avenir Québec have also come to a compromise on three other points of the draft law 141 :

  • The compensation Fund of the Authority will be brought back to June 2015, a measure that will allow victims of fraud from this period to benefit from compensation paid by the Fund.
  • The provisions surrounding the insurance funeral are withdrawn, the Office of consumer protection and its responsible minister Lise Thériault having already planned interventions in this regard.

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