Thursday’s federal budget features measure that hold both challenges and opportunities for the Canadian life and health insurance industry, according to the association representing the industry.

The Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association (CLHIA) says it welcomes certain initiatives in the budget, including the provision of further opportunities for the industry to enhance its long-term investments through public-private partnerships.

CLHIA also applauds the broadening of the residency options for board members to better reflect the global scope of Canadian financial services corporations. It also welcomes a greater focus on long-term bond issuances by the Canadian government over the next decade.

CLHIA is also pleased with the recognition of the importance of the strong Canadian financial services sector to the economy and the need to promote the sector in international markets.

“We are pleased that the government clearly recognizes the insurance industry as strong contributors to the Canadian economy and we look forward to working with the government as they move ahead with Canada’s Economic Action Plan,” said Frank Swedlove, president of CLHIA.

In terms of tax policy changes made to annuities and loan arrangements involving life insurance policies, CLHIA says it must examine the details of the changes more closely to determine their impact.

Key changes for 10-8s and leveraged annuities

“We are hopeful that there will still be opportunities for further consultation before any new measures are put in place,” said Swedlove.