Advocis steps up political campaign

By Doug Watt | January 19, 2004 | Last updated on January 19, 2004
2 min read

(January 19, 2004) Advocis has launched a postcard campaign to promote its accreditation strategy and push for rule changes at the IDA and the MFDA. The association for financial advisors wants to reform Canada’s regulatory system based on designations, such as the CFP and the CLU.

“In our view, designations, with their codes of conduct and associated prescribed practices, make a better foundation to build on than pushing compliance objectives onto companies only to see them inconsistently applied and even misused as leverage,” said Advocis president Steve Howard and chair Brian Mallard in an open letter to members posted on the association’s Web site.

“Rather, to build a national platform, it would be better to use the existing national designations of CFP and CLU on the mutual fund and insurance side to distinguish advice giving from transaction oversight.”

The January edition of Advocis’ Forum magazine contains eight pre-printed postcards. Two of the cards are intended to go to politicians — each member’s provincial finance minister and local MPP or MLA — regarding the accreditation issue. The magazine contains a list of the country’s finance ministers and a link to the names of the country’s MPPs and MLAs is posted on the Advocis Web site.

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  • The other six cards are pre-addressed; one is intended for the IDA, regarding a recent rule change requiring dealers to review financial plans, says Beverly Brooks, Advocis’s vice-president of public affairs. “We’re also delivering a pretty direct message that the IDA should not be moving into the area of regulating insurance.”

    Five of the postcards go to the MFDA on the issue of bulk transfers. “When an advisor changes dealers, it’s difficult for him to take his clients with him,” says Brooks. “We’re advocating for an easier transfer process.” All the postcards include space for personal comments.

    “We’ve had a very positive response on this initiative,” Brooks tells “People are pleased that we’re being active on this front.

    The postcard campaign also drew some quick, if mixed, response in’s Talvest Town Hall. “I think this is absolutely great,” wrote Matt Churchill. “Isn’t it time we started getting the regulators’ and governments’ attention?”

    One forum participant called the campaign “an exercise in futility,” while another writer defended it, stating, “Doing nothing won’t help. I think we all need to do everything we can.”

    What do you think of the postcard campaign? Join a conversation already underway in the “Free For All” forum of the Talvest Town Hall on

    Filed by Doug Watt,,


    Doug Watt