Menu Close

Death of a mutual

The following article by Anthony Piscitelli and Liam McHugh-Russell was published in Policy Options:

In the 1990s and 2000s, four major Canadian life insurance companies demutualized, ending their status as mutuals to become publicly traded corporations. Economical Mutual Insurance has spent much of the last decade laying the groundwork to be the first property and casual insurer in Canada to do the same. The stated purpose of this process has been to improve the competitive edge of these companies in economic and regulatory conditions that have changed since they were founded – although more direct financial interests certainly provided some impetus.

In May, Economical received final policy-holder approval to sell off ownership of the company via an initial public offering (IPO). All that remains to finalize the demutualization is approval from Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland. There is little doubt this approval will be received; the process has been overseen by the federal government, the regulator and the courts. Although demutualization will be a financial bonanza for a handful of policy holders, the sell-off is unfortunate. The loss of Economical’s mutual status will cause a further drift from the company’s values, to the detriment of broader Canadian society.

Continue reading at https://policyoptions.irpp.org/magazines/august-2021/death-of-a-mutual-and-the-drift-away-from-neighbours-helping-neighbours/

The MEC debacle is a predictable and avoidable governance failure

By Marc-Andre Pigeon and Anthony Piscitelli

When news broke about Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC) being sold to an investor in the United States, the reaction among many of its 5.4 million member-owners was surprise, anger and disappointment.

More than 130,000 members have so far signed a petition to reverse the sale, while a group of members has raised more than $100,000 to give members a voice at MEC’s Companies Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA) proceedings.

Continue reading at https://theconversation.com/the-mec-debacle-is-a-predictable-and-avoidable-governance-failure-146513

The flu vaccine opportunity

By Melissa MacKay and Anthony Piscitelli

With Canada’s flu season nearly here, the threat of COVID-19 makes getting the flu shot more important than ever. Flu outbreaks risk straining our health-care system when we most need hospital beds to treat those seriously infected by COVID-19.

Unfortunately, myths about the flu vaccine meant only about four in 10 Canada’s were vaccinated last year. Surprisingly, the same number of Canadians believe the flu shot can cause the flu. The reality is the flu vaccine cannot cause the flu.

Continue reading at https://www.brantfordexpositor.ca/opinion/columnists/the-flu-vaccine-opportunity