On Monday, September 23, 2019, ACTA and members of the ACTA AB-NWT Regional Council and the Insurance Sub-Committee met with Richard Gotfried, MLA for Calgary-Fish Creek. Mr Gotfried is a travel industry veteran with a great deal of knowledge and understanding of the challenges that our members face in our industry. The latest meeting with Mr Gotfried is part of a long-standing advocacy initiative by ACTA in Alberta and is actually a follow-up to an ACTA meeting with him in March this year. In March, Mr Gotfried was sitting as an opposition MLA in the Alberta Legislature but, in April, there was a change of government. We are delighted to announce that a travel industry expert is now part of the government in Alberta! Also, encouragingly, 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.
The ACTA concerns relating to the sale of travel insurance by our members in Alberta and other issues (click here for more information) fall squarely within the mandate of the new government and, as such, have been received with even greater interest by Mr Gotfried. 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 travelling so that they don’t inadvertently become a financial burden on their families or the province. 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.
Mr. Gotfried has indicated that he will, as a first step, bring forward the ACTA concerns to Service Alberta, as well as to the Ministry of Finance. ACTA will continue with its ongoing advocacy initiative in Alberta and will follow up on any communications from the Ministries. ACTA will also provide support and stay in contact with Mr Gotfried. We look forward to having further opportunities to meet and discuss the issues and, particularly, to find out we can help to remove the regulatory obstacles that our members face in ensuring that Albertans travel with proper travel insurance. We wish Mr Gotfried all the best during his term of office.