C.D. Howe Report:
C.D. Howe Website
TORONTO, ON, June 3, 2010 — The Certified General Accountants of Ontario, Alberta and Manitoba, commend and support the report issued by the C.D. Howe Institute today. The report’s recommendations will reduce barriers to labour mobility and increase competition within regulated professions.
“The C.D. Howe report validates the importance of recognizing professional credentials from one Canadian jurisdiction to another – a position for which we have advocated for some time,” said Doug Brooks, FCGA, CEO, Certified General Accountants of Ontario. “This issue matters because barriers to labour mobility have negative implications for the country’s productivity, labour supply and economic prospects.”
Ontario’s public accounting licensing system does not comply with the revised chapter on labour mobility and the mutual recognition principle. Ontario will not license public accountants qualified by a regulator in other jurisdictions. Instead of changing its public accounting licensing system to conform to the revised labour mobility chapter, Ontario has decided to exclude it from the revised chapter.
“The Ontario government has declared that it would like other provinces to adopt its qualification requirements for public accounting and will restrict access to the Ontario market until they do, said Grant Christensen, FCGA,CEO, Certified General Accountants of Manitoba. “Ontario’s decision limits the government’s commitment to resolving mobility issues in Canada.”
“There are necessary differences in occupations by province but if differences in certification requirements cause no risk from one province to the next, governments should eliminate the barriers,” said Robert Knox, author of the C.D. Howe Institute report. “I have yet to see evidence that public accountants qualified from other provinces would put consumers at risk if they practised in Ontario.”
The 2009 update to the chapter on labour mobility in Canada’s agreement on internal trade (AIT) attempts to deal with these issues; however, the scope of the chapter on labour mobility needs broadening. Diverse certification and occupational standards are not the only factors that restrict mobility.
“Canada will face a labour shortage and it is critical governments can ensure its professionals and skilled workers will be recognized equally across provincial borders,” said John Carpenter, FCGA, CEO, Certified General Accountants of Alberta. “Ontario’s monopoly approach to the regulation of public accounting is unjustified and a barrier to attracting the professionals we need to maintain a prosperous Canadian economy.”
Canada needs to bolster its labour force, including improving productivity and driving incentives to extend labour force participation, but Canada should also make the national labour market more efficient and more attractive to foreign workers. The best way to do this is to eliminate unnecessary barriers to mobility for professionals and skilled trades both in Canada and for internationally trained workers once they are in Canada.
The C.D. Howe Institute is a national, non-partisan, non-profit organization that aims to improve Canadians' standard of living by fostering sound economic and social policy. http://www.cdhowe.org/.
Certified general accountants see more than numbers. CGA Ontario, Alberta and Manitoba are self-governing bodies that grant the exclusive rights to the CGA designation, and they control the professional standards, conduct and discipline of their members and students. Certified general accountants (CGAs) are committed to meeting the needs of their businesses and organizations with strategic insight, leadership and demonstrated abilities. There are more than 73,000 CGAs and students across Canada.
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For more information:
Amy Mulhern, Manager, Public Relation, CGA Ontario
Telephone: 416-544-4781 / 1-800-668-1454 ext. 8311
www.cga-ontario.org / www.cga-more.org
Janice Harrington, Vice President, Communications and Government Relations, CGA Alberta
Telephone: 403-299-1323, 800-661-1078
Grant Christensen, FCGA, Chief Executive Officer, CGA Manitoba
Telephone: 204-594-9025, 800-282-8001