FSRA Consumer Advisory Panel

Meeting 1 – April 3, 2024
Meeting notes

Panel members

Laura Tamblyn Watts, Chair
Harvey Naglie, Vice-Chair
Chris M Robinson
Ellen Bessner
Julie Kuzmic
Leeann Corbeil
Lucy Becker
Ninette Ibanez
Peter D’Iorio
Terri Williams Kinghorn
Zahir Dharsee


Todd White
Udia Umoette

FSRA staff / presenters

Mark White, Chief Executive Officer
Glen Padassery, EVP, Policy/ EVP, Auto Insurance
Jordan Solway, EVP, Legal & Enforcement
Judy Pfeifer, Chief Public Affairs Officer
Stuart Wilkinson, Chief Consumer Officer
Chris Zolis, Head, Forensic Analysis and Investigations, Enforcement
Daniel Padro, Head, Policy - Core Regulatory
Joel Gorlick, Head, Cross Sectoral Policy
Elissa Sinha, Director, Litigation & Enforcement and Deputy General Counsel
Victoria Lesau, Director, Policy Credit Union, Insurance Prudential & Pensions
Jesse Heath-Rawlings, Sr. Manager, Pension Policy
Leanne Westcott, Sr. Manager, Policy and Operations
Serina Yau, Sr. Manager, Corporate Communications, Public Affairs
Jisha Sarwar, Sr. Policy and Technical Lead, Consumer Office
Michele Anderson, Sr. Policy and Technical Lead, Consumer Office
Shamaila Mian, Sr. Policy and Technical Lead, Policy
Diana Green, Sr. Policy Analyst, Consumer Office
Sarah Wilson, Sr. Advisor, Communications, Public Affairs
Olivia Lee, Administrative Coordinator, Policy 
Dillon Byrd, Project Assistant, Policy
Nicole Sherwin, Communications Officer, Public Affairs

Ministry observer

Marlo Spence Lair – Director, Capital Markets & Agency Relations Branch, Ministry of Finance


  • Panel members provided introductory remarks and expressed their interests in various aspects of FSRA’s priorities and work plan in the 2024-25 term.
  • FSRA provided the Panel a summary of the Panel’s activities in the 2023-24 term highlighting the impacts of their contributions.
  • FSRA presented the proposed Panel schedule for the 2024-2025 term.
  • The Panel discussed preparations in advance of the May 24, 2024 meeting with FSRA’s Board of Directors, and approach to presentation.

Item 1: Welcome and introductory

  • The Panel Chair acknowledged that the Land Acknowledgment is an important step in reconciliation. The Chair encouraged Panel members and FSRA to contemplate ways they might bring truth and reconciliation into their work.
  • Panel members, FSRA staff, and Ministry of Finance representative introduced themselves.
  • New Panel members provided an overview of their interests and goals in joining the Panel.

Item 2: Environmental scan/roundtable

  • The Panel Chair mentioned the 4 Seasons of Reconciliation course offered through the First Nations University of Canada.
  • The Panel Chair flagged that the federal budget is tracking to be released on April 16, and it may include initiatives to address consumer issues.
  • A Panel member updated the Panel on potential changes to credit reporting, such as including renters’ credit history as a basis for credit scoring, according to the Federal government’s recent announcement.
  • FSRA highlighted the contribution the Panel’s Chair made to the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS) Market Conduct Working Group related to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) issues.
  • A Panel member mentioned that March was Fraud Awareness Month. With rising reports of fraud related to seniors she would like the Panel and FSRA to focus on vulnerable consumers as a priority.
    • FSRA mentioned that protection of vulnerable consumers is a cross-sectoral topic FSRA is addressing through planned actions and educational campaigns. Auto insurance fraud reduction is also a priority in the 2024-2027 Annual Business Plan, and FSRA will find opportunities to engage with the Panel on the topic.
  • The Panel Chair mentioned her hope that the Ontario government would implement the Better for Consumers, Better for Businesses Act, 2023, which received Royal Assent in December 2023.
  • A Panel member indicated collaboration between the Retirement Homes Regulatory Authority and FSRA in distributing financial education materials to seniors is important and FSRA should explore additional such collaboration opportunities. The Canadian Network of Agencies for Regulation (CNAR) and the Council on Licensure, Enforcement and Regulation (CLEAR) are examples of organizations FSRA could join to further expand partnership opportunities with other regulators.
  • The Panel Chair recently took a course on gender-based analysis, which she believes is important in helping individuals understand different points of view. The Chair encouraged Panel members and FSRA staff to consider taking the GBAPlus course.

Item 3: Consumer Office updates

  • The Consumer Office provided a brief update on topics and action items identified in the February 21 CAP General Meeting. The topics informed the 2024-25 term planning and establishment of working groups.
  • A Panel member inquired about tracking consumer education campaign impacts and traction.

Item 4: 2024-25 term planning

  • Consumer Office presented a summary of the Panel’s activities in the 2023-24 term. These included:
    • introducing three new Panel members
    • holding five official meetings
    • conducting two Policy Lab meetings
    • hosting a Consumer Advocate Meetup
    • setting up six topic-specific working groups
    • submitting seven responses to public consultations
  • The Consumer Office led the Panel through the recommendations it made to the 2023-24 FSRA priorities as well as subsequent steps FSRA had taken related to these recommendations.
  • The Panel expressed concern over the use of Artificial Intelligence by regulated sectors, and data usage in general, and how FSRA deals with these technological challenges.
  • The Panel suggested that FSRA utilize MPPs’ offices as a resource, distributing educational materials through their offices to reach additional populations when constituents contact representatives with issues related to regulated sectors.
  • The Panel expressed concern about reaching out to individuals without digital connections, such as the elderly population.
    • FSRA explained that FSRA used both digital and radio advertising in recent pilots, and is exploring existing public radio and television services to expand consumer outreach.
  • Consumer Office presented the proposed meeting schedule for the upcoming term, agenda topics, and working groups.

Item 5: May 24 Board update planning

  • The May 24 Panel meeting with FSRA’s Board of Directors will be held in person with a virtual option. In-person participation is encouraged.
  • The Panel Vice-Chair explained the importance of the meeting with the Board and walked the Panel through the proposed meeting structure.
  • The Panel discussed several potential topics to raise to the Board:
    • Principles-Based Regulation (PBR): PBR has both strengths and shortcomings.
    • High interest rates: How FSRA can address or support consumers through this difficult transition.
    • Pension plans: Consider risks to consumers receiving advice to take the commuted value of their defined benefit pension plan and deploy it in potentially risky investing strategies.
    • Mystery shoppers: FSRA explore the idea of using mystery shoppers to better gauge the financial services landscape.
    • Mandatory disclosure and plain language: The need for mandatory disclosure and plain language, specifically emphasizing that language should be tailored to each of the industries in a basic and specific manner.

Item 6: Working group update

  • The Panel Vice-Chair walked through the working group’s engagement with FSRA on Unclaimed Deposits and the importance of such initiatives.

Item 7: Closing remarks

  • The Consumer Office summarized some of the follow-up actions and next steps in preparation for the May 24 meeting with the Board.
  • The Panel and FSRA thanked everyone for their participation in the meeting.

Next meeting:

  • Friday May 24, 2024, from 10:00am until 12:00pm – In-Person meeting with FSRA’s Board of Directors