Alberta’s Insurance Amendment Act: Meaningful Change or a Long Arrow with a Short Bow?


  • Barbara Billingsley Professor, Faculty of Law, University of Alberta



A litigator I used to work with had a way with metaphors. He once described a legal argument as being a “long arrow with a really short bow” — the implication being that, while impressive and even intimidating at first instance, the argument really did not “fly” and failed to advance the law in a meaningful way. This description came to mind when the Alberta government announced last year that the major components of the province’s long-awaited Insurance Amendment Act would take effect on 1 July 2012. Are the modifications contained in this statute worth the years of anticipation and consultation, or are the changes implemented by the legislation less significant for insurance contract law than the long reform process would suggest? In other words, does the statutory amendment achieve meaningful change by effectively addressing pressing insurance contract issues, or is this reform just a long arrow with a short bow?




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