Canadian Life and Health Insurance Industry Applauds Industry Committee Report on Services

    OTTAWA, June 18 /CNW/ - The Canadian Life and Health Insurance
Association (CLHIA) applauds the House of Commons Standing Committee on
Industry, Science and Technology on its report on Canada's service sector, The
Goods on Services. "The life and health insurance industry strongly supports
the recommendations of the Committee. They have recognized the vital role that
the services industry plays in the health and prosperity of our economy," said
Frank Swedlove, President of the CLHIA.
    The services sector now accounts for almost 70 per cent of Canada's GDP.
Further, the financial services sector is responsible for a major portion of
Canada's direct investment abroad. "The government should seriously consider
how they should respond to these excellent recommendations," added Mr.
    The industry was particularly pleased with the recommendations that the
Government of Canada:

    -  continue to improve Statistic Canada's collection and dissemination of
       data on the services sector;
    -  develop a services sector innovation strategy;
    -  ensure that staff in foreign missions have the expertise, knowledge
       and resources to promote the services sector;
    -  seek further favourable and comprehensive bilateral and multilateral
       trade agreements that would include services sector obligations;
    -  work with the provinces and professional organizations to streamline
       the entry of foreign workers into the labour force, particularly as it
       relates to the recognition of foreign credentials; and
    -  take a leadership role in encouraging the provinces to bring down
       inter-provincial trade, investment and labour mobility barriers.

    These recommendations were consistent with those made by the life and
health industry in its submissions to both the Industry Committee and the
Competition Policy Review Panel.

    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. It also holds
more than $400 billion of assets in Canada and employs over 120,000 Canadians.

For further information:

For further information: Media enquiries: Wendy Hope, Vice President,
External Relations, (416) 777-2221; or Janice Hilchie, Vice President,
Legislative Relations, (613) 230-0031

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