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Sunday News Roundup 22.02.13: Trucker reversal, CPC leadership, business insolvencies and more 

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

Author: Canadian Accountant

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TORONTO, February 13, 2022 – The Freedom Convoy continued to dominate the news for a second week and eventually took its toll on the Conservative Party. By the end of the week, interim leader Candice Bergen had completely reversed course from full support of the protests to telling the truckers to go home. 

For Canadian accountants — the majority of whom traditionally vote Conservative — blocking the highway trade routes between Canada and the United States, at a time when CPAs are justifiably concerned about supply chains, was likely the final straw for both CPAs and Conservatives in general. The reversal by the rudderless Tories, however, may have opened the door for a moderate challenger (Jean Charest) to Pierre Poilievre, who looked to be on his way to a coronation. 

And now on to the rest of the odds and ends from the past week in Canadian accounting. 

Business insolvencies jump by double digits

As David Bish in Canadian Accountant wrote last December, insolvency professionals have been waiting for a storm of bankruptcies to occur, particularly as pandemic supports wane. We may now be seeing the first signs of rain, as the number of Canadian business insolvencies jumped 36.8 per cent in the fourth quarter. 

It was the largest rate of increase in 35 years of records tracked by the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy. The surge in insolvencies could signal the beginning of a rebound back towards pre-pandemic levels, according to the Canadian Association of Insolvency and Restructuring Professionals

The untouchables touched by the CRA

On Wednesday, the Canada Revenue Agency made a big show of sentencing three Ontario residents for tax evasion, stemming from an OPP investigation into the illicit activities of an organized crime network. Details on the crimes was largely absent from the press release, however, which send us searching for more information.

Turns out there’s more to the story. The three culprits, who each pled guilty to one count of tax evasion each, allegedly ran a gambling den in Mississauga. According to the Toronto Star, in Brampton judge tosses organized crime-linked gambling case over ‘egregious’ 12-day wait for bail hearing, the two men at the centre of the case walked away free of charges. No word on how serious their tax evasions sentences were. 

Blockchain boys abuzz about KPMG purchase

KPMG Canada announced this week that it was adding Bitcoin and Ethereum assets to its corporate treasury and the blockchain world exploded. Even the big business boys like BNN covered the story as though KPMG had suddenly validated Bitcoin as an asset. Lost in the hubbub was the news that KPMG had also purchased carbon offsets to maintain a net-zero carbon transaction to deliver on the firm's stated environmental, social and governance (ESG) commitments. 

Accounting for a Canadian Olympic bid

It was extraordinary to see the Globe and Mail turn up its nose this past week at the prospect of a Vancouver/Whistler Winter Olympics in 2030. Much of the editorial focuses on the suspect accounting strategies used by countries (including Canada) to claim they broke even on the Games. When Canada’s National Newspaper says no to another Winter Olympics, you know the Olympic brand as fallen far. 

More accounting mergers and acqusitions

Here’s one we recently missed: On February 1st, PwC Canada announced it had acquired Stratus360, a Salesforce consulting firm based in Toronto. The Stratus360 team will join PwC’s “Front Office Transformation” practice. The last acquisition announced by PwC Canada was cybersecurity firm PwC’s Avaleris Inc., an Ottawa-based firm focused on Microsoft Identity, Security and Cloud services, last September. A trend, perhaps? 

Quick Hits

Canadian federal government releases significant package of draft tax legislation (Lexology)
B.C. legislature accountants' credibility questioned by Craig James' defence team (Coast Reporter)
CPABC was selected on BC’s top employer list focusing on employee well-being and inclusion (Global Newswire)
Saskatchewan, Ottawa look to end historic tax exemption for CP Rail (Globe and Mail)
Gregory Mason: One curve we shouldn't have flattened (Financial Post)
Lobby Wrap: Social-media taxes back on lobbying circuit (iPolitics) 

By Canadian Accountant staff.

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