The Association of Canadian Travel Agents (ACTA) in Alberta is optimistic about pursuing advocacy initiatives, in light of the fact that a travel industry veteran was re-elected as a Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA).
ACTA and members of the ACTA AB-NWT Regional Council and the Insurance Sub-Committee met with Richard Gotfried, MLA, for Calgary-Fish Creek, regarding the constraints placed on travel agents selling travel health insurance in the province of Alberta.
Gotfried previously worked for Cathay Pacific Airways as regional manager for the Prairies, for over 15 years.
“With his wealth of travel industry experience, he intuitively understands the challenges our members are facing, and particularly their concern that their Alberta-based clients should be properly insured when they are traveling, so that they don’t inadvertently become a financial burden on their families or the province,” ACTA said in a statement. “We are optimistic that Mr. Gotfried will be able to assist us in addressing some of the statutory and regulatory challenges that our members face in Alberta in achieving this goal.”
The mandate of the new Alberta government includes “taking Alberta from being the slowest-moving and most over-regulated economy in Canada, to being one of the freest and fastest-moving economies in the world.” Significantly, as part of this, they have committed to reducing unnecessary red tape by one-third, to reduce costs, speed up approvals, and generally to create a friendly and welcoming environment for businesses operating in Alberta.
Gotfried indicated that, as his first step, he will bring forward the ACTA concerns to Service Alberta, as well as to the Ministry of Finance.
ACTA’s goal is to remove the regulatory obstacles that its members face in ensuring that Albertans travel with proper travel insurance. The association envisions achieving this through three measures: 1) Enable individual independent contractor travel agents to sell travel insurance to Alberta residents; 2) Amend the Insurance Act to ensure that the holders of restricted insurance licenses are represented on the AIC or any future regulatory body by a separate council or by appropriate representation on one of the other existing councils; and 3) Have the Alberta government harmonize the inter-provincial sale of travel insurance to Canadians by entering into a dialogue with other signatory provinces.