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The CPA Order calls for bold environmental measures

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Montreal, February 25, 2020 — With climate emergency in the backdrop, the Quebec CPA Order has presented eight proposals to the Finance Minister ahead of the next budget.

According to the President and CEO of the Order, Geneviève Mottard, “the next budget must be characterized by boldness and this must translate into solid and continuous investment in public transportation and the intelligent use of environmental taxation to bring about behaviour change, but without increasing the tax burden. In brief, the next budget must be one that tackles climate change head-on.”

Other than the call for effective and organized action to confront the urgency of climate change, the Order’s proposals are intended to ensure the responsible and sustainable management of public finances, foster government transparency and promote fairness and consistency in taxation. Three issues are of particular concern to the Order.

Making long-term economic and fiscal projections 

Firstly, the current economic and budgetary outlook does not allow the long-term financial sustainability of the Quebec government, that is, its capacity to maintain the current level of public services for future generations, to be assessed. As suggested by the Minister Responsible for the Parliamentary Reform, Simon Jolin-Barrette, in his proposal for reform presented last week, the Order recommends that the government produces long-term economic and budgetary projections on a regular basis. 70% of Quebecers* support this proposal.

Creating the position of parliamentary budget officer  

While the government has just tabled a parliamentary reform proposal to enhance the efficiency of the National Assembly, no less than 70% of Quebecers* support the idea of creating the position of a parliamentary budget officer, as is already the case with the federal government. The Order believes that the work of a parliamentary budget officer, whether it concerns objective budget forecasts, independent estimates of the costs of a measure or program, evaluation of proposals made by MNAs and horizon scanning of public finances, will be indispensable to the government in making informed choices. 

Submitting consolidated financial statements to legislators for review

In the same spirit of transparency, the Quebec CPA Order also invites the government to submit its consolidated financial statements for review to a parliamentary committee, in the presence of the auditor general. This exercise would enable legislators to debate actual data from a fiscal year, identify major gaps between budget forecasts and final results and discuss the auditor-general’s opinion on these financial statements. 

Other proposals from the Quebec CPA Order

o Define and formalize the principles of the management and use of the Stabilization Reserve Fund
o Adopt new objectives for debt reduction and the Generations Fund disbursement policy
o Organize and standardize the distribution of public and semipublic organizations’ financial statements
o Enhance the relevance and consistency of tax measures
o Correct certain inconsistent and unfair tax provisions

*CROP survey conducted between February 12 and 15, 2020 with a representative sample of 1,000 Quebecers. 

About the Quebec CPA Order

The Ordre des comptables professionnels agréés du Québec has 40,000 members and 5,000 future CPAs, making it the third largest professional order in Quebec. The Order ensures the protection of the public and the visibility of the profession. It represents all areas of expertise of the accounting profession, including financial reporting, management accounting, strategy and governance, audit and assurance, finance and taxation.

See the brief submitted by the Order (in French only) >

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Information:

Jean-Louis Laplante
Manager, Public Affairs
Québec CPA Order
T. 514 288-3256 (3024) 1 800 363-4688
jllaplante@cpaquebec.ca

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