Bear Pit 5: The challenges of Health Care Access as viewed through the lens of the Private Insurer

Wednesday, February 22, 2017, 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Bear Pit 5: The challenges of Health Care Access as viewed through the lens of the Private Insurer


David Simmonds

VP Public Affairs

McKesson Canada


Brian Bockstael


Coughlin and Associates



Employers presently spend as much as 40% of payroll to fund a broad ranges of employee benefits. The challenges of accessing public health care can add an additional layer of costs when employees are waiting to have illnesses diagnosed and treated. This is born out in the Dr. Day, Head of Vancouver's Cambie Surgery Centre, case now before the BC Supreme Court. Access to private health care is bound to grow and what does that mean to employers and their employees.

As well, the escalating costs of new drugs, biologics in particular, are having a profound impact on employer benefit plan costs and plan sponsors and their providers are being challenged like never before. Our presentation will offer valuable insight on these important topics and how they may affect you as both an Employer and an Employee!



David Simmonds, VP, Public Affairs, McKesson Canada--

 David Simmonds leads people, projects, and partnerships that protect and enhance McKesson Canada's reputation across Canada. Leading a national and cross functional team, David is responsible for media relations; internal communications; corporate and content marketing; corporate social responsibility, and government relations.

Throughout his career David has advised senior leaders in the private, public, and non-profit sector on mission critical communications strategies. He’s developed particular expertise in higher education policy; financial communications; health policy; crisis management and reputation recovery.

David serves as President and Chair of Alumni Western – Western University's global alumni network; Secretary of the Board at Casey House – a leading specialty hospital in Toronto; a Director at Action Against Hunger Canada, and is member of the Board at the Canadian Club of Toronto – Canada's Podium of Record. In 2015, the Diversity Advancement Network named David to their list of the Top 100 Black Canadians.

A sought after public speaker, David is a lecturer in Public Relations and Marketing at the University of Toronto. His commentary can be found in a variety of media including the Toronto Star, The Globe and Mail, and CBC News: The National, where he served as a regular news contributor.


Brian Bockstael, President, Coughlin and Associates:

Has 41 years of experience in the field and 38 years at Coughlin

A member of the Coughlin team since 1977, Mr. Bockstael is President and Chairman of the Board of Coughlin & Associates Ltd.

He graduated from Red River College’s Business Administration program in 1974 and has more than 41 years of experience in the employee benefits field. He began his career as a Group Benefits Representative with Crown Life in 1974 and joined Coughlin in 1977 as a Benefits Consultant in our Winnipeg office. In 1979, he transferred to our Ottawa head office as Consultant responsible for servicing a number of key customer groups. He was appointed Vice-President in 1989 and President in 2005.

Mr. Bockstael has been an active supporter of many charities over the years. He is a past member of the Ottawa Boys and Girls Club Board of Directors and chaired or oversaw a number of its fundraising promotions over the past 20 years. At present, he is a member of the Board of Directors of the Ottawa Heart Institute Foundation where both he and Coughlin are major sponsors. He serves as a board member of the Ottawa Hunt and Golf Club. He is a founding patron and major donor to the Community Foundation of Ottawa and in leading Coughlin, encourages all of our employees to support numerous charities. He is also fluently bilingual.

On a professional level, for over 25 years, Mr. Bockstael participated on a regular basis at International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans’ (IFEBP) conferences. He has served on a variety of IFEBP committees including its Canadian Education Committee and the Canadian Government/Industry Relations Committee. He is past-chair of the Canadian Board of Directors and former Advisory Director (Canada) of the IFEBP’s Board of Directors


Wednesday, February 22, 2017
11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Telfer School of Management
Desmarais Building
DMS 4120
55 Laurier Avenue East
Ottawa, Ontario K1N 6N5
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RSVP deadline:
Monday, February 20, 2017, 11:00 a.m.

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