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Friday News Roundup 20.07.31: CPA Canada applauds Chamber, Morneau smoke, CFIB & more   

Wrapping up the odds and ends in this week’s Canadian accounting news

Author: Colin Ellis

TORONTO, July 31, 2020 – As we head into a long holiday weekend, and the nation’s most populous city is moving into Stage 3 of its pandemic recovery, here are some of the stories that affect the accounting profession that you may have missed: 

CPA Canada applauds Chamber of Commerce tax initiative

On Thursday, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce announced a series of public consultations, aimed at creating “a more competitive, simpler and fairer tax system as a critical driver of Canada’s recovery from the economic crater of COVID-19.” This is the second go-round for the Chamber, which tried to get the issue on the table in 2019. As Kevin Carmichael in the Financial Post astutely noted, “the Chamber has made an effort to assemble a more diverse group of advisers this time.” 

It’s noteworthy, however, that the eight “special commissioners” appointed to the panel — Jack Mintz and Jamie Golombek have the most name recognition — do not include any representation from accounting firms (law firms, yes; accounting firms, no). The initiative, however, was given the thumbs up by CPA Canada, which sent the following statement to Canadian Accountant: 

“CPA Canada applauds the Chamber for continuing this important conversation about our tax system. We believe this initiative is a valuable exercise to help determine practical  approaches to achieve a simpler, fairer, more efficient and competitive tax system. We look forward to participating and bringing the experience of the profession’s  tax experts to support the Chamber’s initiative. 

While the Chamber’s review is welcomed, CPA Canada  believes the government itself should commit to a full independent review of the system once the pandemic fallout has subsided. CPA Canada has long called for the federal government to undertake such a review.” 

Two years late on our Morneau prediction?

Back in 2018 we predicted, in “10 fearless predictions for Canadian accounting in 2018,” that Bill Morneau would be shuffled out of Finance after a disastrous 2017. We were correct on seven out of 10 predictions but lost out on Morneau, who seems Teflon-coated despite his obvious deficiencies. But Heather Scoffield, the economic columnist in the Toronto Star, is floating the idea that Trudeau will fire Morneau. Where there’s smoke, there’s fire. 

CFIB small business risk report

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business got some media love this week after releasing a report asserting 14 per cent of Canadian small businesses are at risk of permanently closing. Bloomberg News reported on Wednesday that Albertan businesses were most at risk but the Saltwire Network followed up today with a report on the risk the small business in Atlantic Canada. 

Maritime “accountant” faces prison for fraud

On Tuesday, the CBC reported on the sorry case of one Mark Christopher Raymer of Prince Edward Island, who has been convicted of fraud four times: “past fraud victims on P.E.I. include a children's camp, a non-profit film society, and a job-placement firm.” Raymer was reportedly employed at a Charlottetown accounting firm and worked as a bookkeeper at a Halifax company that he defrauded on his second day of work.  

Scott Ingram vs. the Real Estate World

Clearline CEWS Engagement Letter
Clearline CEWS Engagement Letter

Scott Ingram, CPA, CA, is a realtor who lives in the 416 area code. A self-described, “Data-driven Toronto REALTOR® & Chartered Accountant offering balanced views of the market — not an "only goes up" industry hype man,” Scott has a modest following on his Twitter account, which should be higher, and a nifty slogan: “Your home is the single largest investment you'll make — trust it with an accountant.” 

He was quoted in depth on Tuesday in the Sun Postmedia network remarking on a 20’x129′ house in Toronto up for sale at $1 million. “My cynical theory is the owners are getting nervous and want to cash out,” he tweeted. 

Colin Ellis is a contributing editor to Canadian Accountant.

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