Atlantic Canada struggles with access to medicinal cannabis


According to an article published in the Western Star, some residents of Atlantic Canada are having difficulty accessing medical cannabis which is required for their treatment. The article describes the struggles of a Nova Scotia patient Lindsay (last name not disclosed for legal reasons), who requires medical cannabis to alleviate the side effects from her monthly cancer treatment.

As a result of her cancer treatment, Lindsay is regularly left with symptoms including pain, aches, nausea, cramps and upset stomach. However, Lindsay’s medical cannabis provider, CannTrust, placed a hold on its products in July when undergoing a review by Health Canada. Subsequently, Health Canada suspended CannTrust’s licence in September.

“I’m stuck and I know I’m just going to have to work through the pain. Everything is left up to my husband. He’s working 12-hour shifts and then he has to come home and then has to deal with the family on top of everything else and a wife that can’t really do anything.”

Lindsay, medicinal cannabis user

The process of switching medical cannabis providers can be lengthy since Health Canada requires the patient to obtain a new medical document from their health practitioner. Since Lindsay’s prescription is due to be renewed within the next month, she had said she plans to talk to her doctor about changing providers.

Lindsay said other pain medication is not a desirable option due to its unwanted side effects. “They gave me pain medication, like morphine or hydromorphone or something along those lines, and then they told me, ‘You’re in pain? Take more. You’ll be fine,’ and that bothered me,” she said. “I didn’t want to be so oblivious to daily activities by being on pills.”

When Lindsay had first received her prescription for medical cannabis in 2018, she was purchasing cannabis products through an illegal dispensary, since she could not afford products from her medical cannabis provider without insurance covering the costs. However, the police shut down the dispensary, and after that Lindsay had to resort to obtaining her cannabis products from the NSLC.

NSLC spokesperson Beverly Ware told Western Star that customers seeking medical recommendations on products has been one of the biggest problems facing the Crown Corporation since it began selling cannabis in its stores. Although the NSLC was appointed by the provincial government to become Nova Scotia’s recreational cannabis retailer, its employees are not permitted to provide medical advice on its products. According to Ware, individuals seeking medical cannabis should be going through Health Canada, as “it is the only body that can fill a prescription.”

However, Lindsay has said she has nowhere else to turn. “When I go to the NSLC, it’s self-medication and I know I could be arrested because I have a prescription,” she said. “Every time I go to the NSLC for medical reasons, it’s a risk, but it’s what I have to do. I’m not doing it so I can get high. I’m doing it so I can walk.”

IBC Applauds Manitoba Government Investment in Emergency Response Efforts

EDMONTON, Nov. 26, 2019 /CNW/ – Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) commends the Manitoba government for providing new funding to help protect communities in emergency situations. The announcement included funding for a new communications system, damage prevention, climate resilience measures and spring flood preparedness.

“As the frequency and intensity of severe weather events, such as floods, are escalating, we want to work with the government on adaptation measures, like the ones recently announced, to better protect Manitobans. IBC and its members applaud the Manitoba government’s investment,” said Celyeste Power, Vice-President, Western, IBC.

The announcement includes a one-time capital investment of up to $45 million for damage prevention and climate resilience measures, and $3 million for spring flood preparedness, to be spent according to the priorities to be established by a panel of representatives from the Association of Manitoba Municipalities, the Winnipeg Metro Region and the province, including the Climate and Green Plan Implementation Office.

IBC reminds Canadians that it is not only insurers that foot the bill for severe weather damage, but also taxpayers. That’s why all stakeholders should come together to reduce the financial strain caused by flood events. For every dollar paid out in insurance claims for damaged homes and businesses, Canadian governments and their taxpayers pay out much more to repair public infrastructure damaged by severe weather.

About Insurance Bureau of Canada

Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) is the national industry association representing Canada’s private home, auto and business insurers. Its member companies make up 90% of the property and casualty (P&C) insurance market in Canada. For more than 50 years, IBC has worked with governments across the country to help make affordable home, auto and business insurance available for all Canadians. IBC supports the vision of consumers and governments trusting, valuing and supporting the private P&C insurance industry. It champions key issues and helps educate consumers on how best to protect their homes, cars, businesses and properties.

P&C insurance touches the lives of nearly every Canadian and plays a critical role in keeping businesses safe and the Canadian economy strong. It employs more than 128,000 Canadians, pays $9.4 billion in taxes and has a total premium base of $59.6 billion.

For media releases and more information, visit IBC’s Media Centre at Follow IBC on Twitter @InsuranceBureau and @IBC_West or like us on Facebook. If you have a question about home, auto or business insurance, contact IBC’s Consumer Information Centre at 1‑844‑2ask-IBC.

SOURCE Insurance Bureau of Canada

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The need to understand travel health insurance coverage

The need to understand travel health insurance coverage

As 54 per cent of Canadians prepare to travel this already frigid winter, the Travel Health Insurance Association (THiA) is releasing the results of its most recent traveller survey that reveals that 26 per cent of Canadians are unsure of their coverage when they travel.

Ninety per cent of respondents make mobile phones a part of life even on holiday, but these modern conveniences are increasingly a source of injury with 13 per cent overall (and 18 per cent of millennials) reporting that they’ve been injured while posing precariously for selfies.

“Everyone deserves a carefree vacation and travel health insurance is designed to pay for unexpected medical emergencies,” said Will McAleer, Travel Health Insurance Association. “Understanding what activities might impact coverage, whether it be climbing a mountain or consuming more alcohol than usual, is part of what’s required for a good getaway. With Ontario being the first province to eliminate coverage for out-of-country medical expenses, it’s more important than ever to know what is and isn’t covered by insurance policies.”

Starting on January 1, 2020, OHIP is changing its out of country travel health coverage for Ontarians and will no longer provide any coverage for travellers (aside from kidney dialysis). According to the survey, 45 per cent of Canadians believe provincial health insurance covers some medical expenses incurred while travelling abroad. These changes underscore the importance of consumer awareness and understanding of their travel health insurance coverage.

Being aware of what is or isn’t covered under a policy, or federal regulations related to marijuana, will go a long way in ensuring that hard-earned holidays aren’t jeopardized either by unexpected medical expenses or criminal changes.

Twenty per cent of survey respondents admit to having consumed more than five drinks in two hours on holiday while 31 per cent of millennial males have climbed mountains while travelling. And, 21 per cent of respondents believe it’s acceptable to travel with marijuana packed in their luggage.

The survey also revealed that Canadians are more likely to travel domestically this year and less likely to travel to the US due to the exchange rate (58 per cent) and current political climate (48 per cent).

Wherever Canadians plan to travel this winter, they are more likely to have a carefree holiday and navigate unexpected medical issues with appropriate travel health insurance. Will McAleer recommends that all travellers familiarize themselves with the following key elements of travel health insurance:

  1. Understand your travel insurance policy – Insurance providers have staff available to answer any questions related to policies.
  2. Know your health and consult a health care provider if you have any questions.
  3. Know your trip – How long will you be gone? Are you a snowbird? Will you be travelling many times during the year? Do you plan to scuba dive? Find a policy that is specifically tailored to your trip.
  4. Know your rights – The Bill of Rights and Responsibilities will help provide all travelling Canadians with additional confidence in their travel insurance purchase knowing their company is supporting their rights as a consumer and making them aware of their responsibilities.

About the Survey
The online survey, conducted in October 2019, polled 1,053 respondents, ranging from ages 18 to 60+ across Canada.

About the Travel Health Insurance Association of Canada (THiA)
Founded in 1998, the Travel Health Insurance Association (THiA) is the national organization representing travel insurers, brokers, underwriters, re-insurers, emergency assistance companies, air ambulance companies and allied services in the travel insurance field. THiA is the leading voice of the travel insurance industry in Canada and is engaged in public education and issues relating to regulatory affairs and member communications.

SOURCE Travel Health Insurance Association of Canada (THiA)

Travel Health Insurance Association of Canada (THiA)

Genevieve Fortier Appointed Chief Executive Officer of Promutuel Insurance

QUEBEC CITY, Nov. 25, 2019 / The Board of Directors of Promutuel Insurance is pleased to announce the appointment of Geneviève Fortier as Chief Executive Officer. She succeeds Normand Morin, who has served as interim CEO since April 2019. Ms. Fortier officially takes office on December 16.

Recognized by her peers in the Quebec business community for results-driven and people-centered leadership, Geneviève Fortier will be joining an organization aiming to reach new heights of excellence by providing its insured members with a differentiated customer experience and innovative product offerings, buttressed by a dynamic network of partners. The professional qualifications and management values of our new CEO will help PromutuelInsurance pursue its growth and consolidate our network of mutuals, which are extremely active throughout Quebec.

Ms. Fortier is a CHRP Fellow (conferred by Quebec’sassociation of certified human resource professionals), with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in industrial relations from Université Laval. She has held key senior executive positions including, most recently, Senior Vice President, Sales and Distribution, at SSQ Insurance.

In 2017 Geneviève Fortier was named one of Canada’s 5 Most Influential Women in Human Resources and Diversity. She was also a finalist for the 2015 Alpha Business Personality of the Year award, and winner of the 2014 Quebec Businesswoman of the Year Award (large enterprise category).

Geneviève Fortier is a seasoned corporate director who has chaired the board of the CHUM (Montreal UniversityHospital) since 2015, and sits on the boards of Sanimax and Germain Hotels, where she chairs the Governance and Human Resources Committee.

She is a Leader of Effet A, an innovative program designed to provide women concrete tools to advance their careers and fast-track their professional development. She also recently co-chaired an $11 million fundraising campaign for FitSpirit, an organization dedicated to encouraging girls aged 12 to 17 to get physically active.

“We were looking for a leader with a strong strategic and holistic view to spearhead our growth among Quebec’sleading damage insurers, while cultivating ever-closer ties with our insured members and our large network of mutuals. Geneviève Fortier is well-known not only for her leadership, but also for her ability to put people at the heart of everything she undertakes. We are confident having her join Promutuel Insurance will strengthen our organization and our team as we pursue robust growth, thanks to the support of our highly satisfied insured members.”

Yvan Rose, Board Chair, Promutuel Insurance

“I am delighted to join Promutuel Insurance, to help pursue the profitable growth of one of Quebec’s flagship insurers. I am joining a talented and experienced team that works wholeheartedly to create a differentiated experience for its insured members. Together with our 1,925 employees and partners, we will work to deliver innovative products and solutions and an efficient, modern, simplified insured member experience.”

-Geneviève Fortier, Chief Executive Officer, Promutuel Insurance

About Promutuel Insurance
Promutuel Insurance is one of the biggest damage insurers in Québec. Known for its financial stability, superior products, and outstanding customer service. It boasts 1,925 employees serving more than 630,000 insured clients. Promutuel Insurance’s mission is to promote and provide insurance products that meet the needs of its clients. In doing so it provides exceptional, personalized service while fostering the mutualist values that have guided it for 167 years.

Promutuel Assurance

SOURCE Promutuel Assurance

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