The purpose of the bill is to place the control of the company in the hands of the premium note policyholders. The company operates under two different systems of policies. That is to say, a man
Wapiti Insurance Company
who desires insurance in this company may pay a cash premium for which he will get a policy, and in that connection there will be no contingent liability. He has paid his cash premium and he gets the (benefits indicated in his policy. On the other hand, if he proceeds on the premium note plan he signs a premium note and subsequently he is assessed for the amount of the losses of the company as apportioned among the policyholders. It will therefore be seen that the premium note policyholder has a contingent liability. He may be assessed up to the full amount of the note; in other words, he is liable for his proportionate share of the losses of the company during that year, but the cash policyholder has no contingent liability. He has paid for something for which he receives a policy which indicates the benefits to which he is entitled.
The purpose of the amendments is to place control of the company in the hands of the mutual policyholders who are on the premium note plan in view of the fact that they have a contingent liability and have to pay the losses. The bill itself merely indicates two things. It indicates first that those who hold cash premium policies may be elected as directors. Secondly it indicates that only those who are under the other plan, the premium note plan, may vote and elect such directors.
I may say that the bill was considered by the senate committee, where it was approved by Mr. Finlayson, the superintendent of insurance who attended there, and also by the banking and commerce committee of this house where again Mr. Finlayson attended. The bill now before the house is similar to one which was passed here last year respecting the Wawanesa Mutual Insurance Company. There is little more I can say in connection with the bill except to point out that the Portage la Prairie Mutual Insurance Company is one of the oldest mutual insurance companies in Canada. It was incorporated in 1884, received dominion incorporation in 1930, operates in all the provinces of Canada except the maritimes, and has some S65.000.000 of insurance in force. The present bill has received the approval of the superintendent of insurance, the approval of the senate committee and the approval of the banking and commerce committee of this house, and I think it should go through this house without any difficulty.