2015 CMPA Annual Meeting Summary

September 2015

President’s Report

The 2015 CMPA Annual Meeting was held in Halifax, Nova Scotia on August 26. In his report to members, CMPA President Dr. Edward Crosby noted the challenging and complex environment facing both the CMPA and its over 90,000 physician members. While the Association continues to adapt to this evolving environment, Dr. Crosby affirmed the CMPA’s commitment to providing members with service excellence through medical liability protection, and quality advice and assistance.

Dr. Crosby noted that practice improvement continues to be a core element of the CMPA’s work, and the Association’s decision to expand its contributions to safe medical care will support members in their commitment to deliver safe, quality care to patients. The CMPA’s Strategic Plan lays out the Association’s mission to protect the professional integrity of its members and promote safe medical care in Canada, and articulates the Association’s vision to be valued as an essential component of the Canadian healthcare system.

Rising medical liability protection costs continue to impact members, and Dr. Crosby reaffirmed the Association’s commitment to member equity in the setting of fees. Increasing cost differentials between regions, particularly in the Rest of Canada region, have been addressed by a change in the regional fee structure. Notwithstanding these and other challenges, the CMPA is well positioned to respond to the evolving needs of members while laying the foundation for adjustments that will ensure the sustainability of the medical liability system.

2014 Financial Report

As a not-for-profit organization, the CMPA’s long-term financial objective is to hold at least one dollar of investment assets for each dollar of discounted liabilities. This fully-funded position provides members with the confidence that their medical liability obligations to patients will be met. However, increases in estimated liabilities and forecast protection costs have temporarily eroded the CMPA’s financial position.

At the end of 2014, the Association’s net assets remained in a deficit position, despite investment returns of 11.2%. The most significant item influencing this deficit was an increase in the provision of outstanding claims resulting from members’ practice, both in 2014 and previous years. The Association has previously been in a negative funding position and it will continue to take a measured and prudent approach in returning to full funding.

Information session — End-of-life care: Medical-legal issues

"End-of-life care: Medical-legal issues" was the focus of the 2015 information session. An expert panel, moderated by André Picard, health reporter and columnist at The Globe and Mail, discussed the main issues of this highly relevant topic.

The panelists for this session included Mr. Domenic Crolla, CMPA General Counsel, Gowling Lafleur Henderson; Dr. James Downar, palliative care physician and intensivist with the University Health Network; Dr. Douglas Grant, registrar with the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Nova Scotia; and Eric van Wijlick, senior policy advisor with the Royal Dutch Medical Association.

Webcasts of the annual meeting and information session are available.

Member motion

In accordance with the requirements of the CMPA By-law, a member motion was received by the Association and moved by Dr. Todd Clifford Howlett of Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. During consideration of the motion, the CMPA’s CEO/Executive Director, Dr. Hartley Stern, and President, Dr. Edward Crosby, provided context to the motion by stating the CMPA advises its members that they should be aware of, and comply with, existing legislation and regulatory authority practice standards in their jurisdiction. Dr. Stern explained that, through advocacy and stakeholder engagement and when appropriate, the Association will continue to make submissions related to draft and proposed laws and practice standards. This is aimed at providing the clarity that is crucial for physicians. Dr. Stern also referenced the Association’s member assistance philosophy and principles, emphasizing the CMPA will continue to advise and assist physicians facing medical-legal matters arising from the professional practice of medicine, including in the evolving area of end-of-life care.

The members present and voting adopted the advisory motions as follows:

BE IT RESOLVED THAT the CMPA strongly consider assisting in the defence of members in matters involving the exercise of their freedoms of conscience, religion, and professional judgment.

BE IT RESOLVED THAT the CMPA engage with other stakeholders to express members’ concerns about mandatory obligations that interfere with those freedoms.

Council elections

In 2015, 11 positions were open for election to the CMPA Council. Here are the results of the election:

Western Canada

  • Dr. David Naysmith and Dr. W. Robbert Vroom were elected in British Columbia and Yukon.
  • Dr. Susan L. Hayton was acclaimed in Saskatchewan, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut.
  • Dr. Darcy E. Johnson was acclaimed in Manitoba.


  • Dr. Robert Cooper was acclaimed in Ontario.
  • Dr. Alexander C. Barron, Dr. Gerard P. Craigen and Dr. Gordon A. Crawford were elected.


  • Dr. Jean-Hugues Brossard, Dr. Dominique Dorion and Dr. Robert Sabbah were acclaimed in Québec.

A list of all members of council is available here.