Chair’s Message: Rebuilding Success
As I write my final reflections as Chair of CAIRP, it is hard to believe that it has been more than 36 months since the COVID-19 pandemic hit. I don’t think any of us would have imagined in March 2020 that we would still be talking about the pandemic and its impact three years later. It has been quite a ride, but here we are, and we appear to be past the hardest part. For those of you who are fans of Asterix books, and if you do not know them, I highly recommend them, the Latin saying is fluctuat nec mergitur. It is tossed by the waves but does not sink. Our industry and CAIRP faced some challenging times. I am pleased to advise that CAIRP’s Board, staff and members rose to the challenge and the Association is doing much better than just not sinking, it is moving forward, boldly, with an ambitious Strategic Plan in place.
When I took over the Chair’s role in Fall 2021 my overall goal was to leave the association better than it was, building on the excellent work of my predecessors to ensure the continuous improvement of an Association that is already great and I believe we achieved that over the last two years.
As an example, CAIRP’s education programs have been a core pillar of the association and have touched the lives of most of our members over the years. Ensuring the programs remain relevant has been a top priority. This past spring, we launched the first course of the renewed CIRP Qualification Program, the Introduction to Insolvency Course and the second course, Insolvency Principles Processes and Practice course (IP3) commences in October 2023. We were also pleased that the 2022-23 pass rate for the CNIE was 67%, the highest in recent years. This result is encouraging as we have been and continue to be focused on listening to candidates and providing tools to help them succeed, while maintaining the quality of the certification process.
CAIRP’s professional development (PD) programs pivoted to virtual webinars during the pandemic. Close to 80% of our members participated in the sessions. Members let us know they wished to return to in-person PD formats for fiscal 2023-24. The Forums and Exchange were reintroduced across the country and were well received. I personally appreciated the opportunity to meet face-to-face with so many of our members and stakeholders. CAIRP’s recent efforts supporting the ARIL Society Inc. and its Annual Review of Insolvency Law conference have had a positive impact and we look forward to continuing this collaboration.
Raising the profile of CAIRP, its members and the industry has been a key goal of the association and we have continued to see progress with this long-term effort. CAIRP has been systematically working to get increased media coverage with the regular issuance of media releases generating close to eight hundred stories in major and regional news outlets across the country this past year alone. The CAIRP website was redesigned, the provincial association websites now align with CAIRP messaging and new public facing Member and Member Firm directories were introduced.
CAIRP continues to collaborate with the OSB in numerous ways to strengthen relations, ensure open lines of communication and improve Canada’s insolvency system. For the first time OSB and CAIRP issued a joint communication to the general public, a consumer alert about the Debt Advisory Marketplace, during Financial Literacy Month and we look forward to more joint communication efforts.
CAIRP has broadened its advocacy efforts to include regular meetings with ISED, CRA, Finance Canada and other key stakeholders. Just this past year CAIRP provided submissions to ten consultations across a range of issues that impact the industry and, aside from considering several potential intervention files and finalizing the intervention in the Pierre Nolet vs. Attorney General of Canada case in Quebec, engaged in a new intervention in the Poonian et al v. British Columbia Securities Commission case. The judgement authorizing CAIRP to intervene in the Poonian case was rendered by Supreme Court of Canada on August 29, 2023.
While much has been accomplished members advised CAIRP that the COVID-19 pandemic and other market forces have presented the insolvency marketplace with a wave of fundamental changes and stressors. To address these issues the CAIRP Board approved proceeding with a comprehensive strategic review which took place over the past year. The Strategic Planning/Review Committee chaired by Andre Bolduc has developed an ambitious plan to address the issues, seize the opportunities and build for the future of the industry.
My term as Chair is over and I want to wish Andre the best as he takes on the role. My best wishes as well to the incoming Board. It has been an honour to serve as your Chair and my sincere thanks to the members for providing me with the opportunity to serve as Chair and Vice-Chair these past four years.
During my tenure on CAIRP’s Executive Committee, I had the chance to see the passion and commitment of the people who make the association great, and who respond to the call every time we raise our hand and express a need. Based on this commitment from all of the staff, the Board, the volunteers and members in general, I believe the association continues to meet its mission and vision and CAIRP is well positioned for the future to go from strength to strength.