Politics

Andrew Scheer's experience in the insurance industry: '6 or 7 months'

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer has talked for years about his private-sector experience as an insurance broker, but when questioned Monday, he admitted he only worked in the industry for "six or seven months."

Online bio says Conservative leader was a 'broker,' but Scheer said Monday others finalized transactions

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer faced more questions Monday over his credentials as an insurance broker. Scheer told reporters in Toronto Monday he worked at a firm for "six or seven months," mostly doing clerical work but that "the licensed brokers finalized all the transactions." 1:07

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer has talked for years about his private sector experience as an insurance broker, but under questioning Monday, he admitted he only worked in the industry for "six or seven months."

CBC News asked him exactly how long he'd worked in a Regina insurance office.

"I worked from approximately spring to some time in the fall," he said, saying he'd have to go back and check his personal records for the exact dates.

CBC News also asked Scheer to clarify exactly what his role was in this office.

He said his job was "supporting the whole team … answering questions from customers and clients and doing preparatory work." He added that he would also explain and pass on information to people coming into the office. 

When CBC News suggested this meant he'd never actually worked as a broker, Scheer said that although he (eventually) received his accreditation under the Canadian Accredited Insurance Broker Program, "at this particular office, the licensed brokers finalized all the transactions."

Conrad Shenher, who owned the insurance firm where Scheer worked and is now retired, told CBC News in a phone call that he doesn't remember what Scheer's duties were because it was so long ago.

In response to an earlier question from The Canadian Press, Scheer had said "I left before obtaining the full licence but I did receive that accreditation for general insurance."

He also said he had many different jobs before being elected, including waiting tables.

Bio still says 'broker'

When Scheer ran for the leadership of the Conservative Party, the biographical information on his website said he "passed the Canadian Accredited Insurance Broker program and began his working career in the insurance industry in Regina." 

That's the opposite order of events Scheer now describes.

Derek Lothian, chief executive officer of the Insurance Brokers Association of Saskatchewan, confirmed that Scheer completed a course with the association "that would form part of the eligibility requirements for licensing."

As of Monday afternoon, Scheer's biography on the Conservative Party's web page continued to say that "before entering public life, Andrew worked in the private sector as an insurance broker."

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer's "About" page on the Conservative Party website says he "worked in the private sector as an insurance broker" before entering politics. (conservative.ca)

On Saturday, The Globe and Mail reported that despite Scheer's claim to have been a broker, the newspaper could find no evidence that he had received the accreditation needed to be a broker before he was elected to the House of Commons in 2004, when he was only 25.

Scheer worked as a political staffer before and after his brief stint in the insurance business in Regina.

Provincial legislation prohibits calling yourself a broker unless you hold a licence.

On Sunday, Liberal candidate Marco Mendicino suggested Scheer had been misrepresenting his qualifications and called for an investigation by the Financial and Consumer Affairs Authority of Saskatchewan and the Insurance Councils of Saskatchewan.

Ron Fullan, executive director of the insurance councils, confirmed receipt of Mendicino's letter.

"We are currently reviewing it. At this point, we have no further comment on the issue."

 

With files from Alex Soloducha

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