Canadian Life and Health Insurers welcome Economic Action Plan budget



    OTTAWA, Jan. 27 /CNW/ - The Canadian life and health insurance industry
welcomes the broad-ranging fiscal stimulus measures set out in the Economic
Action Plan announced today by the Minister of Finance. "The industry is
supportive of the initiatives to promote financial stability and maintain
efficient and well-functioning markets, as well as the tax relief provided to
Canadian consumers," said Frank Swedlove, President of the Canadian Life and
Health Insurance Association (CLHIA).
    With respect to the financial services sector, the industry particularly
welcomes the repeal of Section 18.2 of the Income Tax Act which restricts the
deduction of interest for certain investments in foreign subsidiaries. "This
would have put Canadian multinational companies at a competitive disadvantage
to foreign competitors," explained Mr. Swedlove.
    The industry also appreciates the government initiative to create the
Canadian Life Assurance Facility, similar to what had been provided earlier to
the banks. This facility will ensure that Canadian life insurers are put on an
equal footing relative to foreign life insurers that benefit from guarantee
programs provided by their home governments.
    The life and health insurance industry is also supportive of the
government's financial investment in the Canada Health Infoway with the goal
of providing 50 per cent of Canadians with an electronic health record by
2010.

    Established in 1894, the CLHIA is a voluntary association whose member
companies account for 99 per cent of Canada's life and health insurance
business. The industry provides a wide range of financial security products
such as life insurance, annuities (including RRSPs, RRIFs and pensions) and
supplementary health insurance to about 26 million Canadians.





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For further information: Media queries: Wendy Hope, Vice President,
External Relations, (416) 777-2221/(416) 565-1853 (cell)


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