Tackle climate change head-on, CPA Canada urges

The group’s pre-budget submission to the federal government stresses both prospects and challenges that require action

Tackle climate change head-on, CPA Canada urges

Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA Canada) has submitted its recommendations for the next federal budget, which include calls for a national transition to a low-carbon, climate-resilient, and globally competitive economy.

“We believe our recommendations will help the next government set a course for a sustainable future,” said Gordon Beal, CPA Canada's vice-president, research, guidance and support.

Referring to the previously released recommendations of the Expert Panel on Sustainable Finance, the group in its recommendations said that the environmental impacts of climate change create economic opportunities and challenges that, if addressed properly, will lead to a healthier environment, society, and economy.

“CPA Canada is in broad agreement with the expert panel’s recommendations and we propose that the government move to implement those recommendations that are within its jurisdiction,” the group said. In particular, it underscored Canada’s need to map and commit to a long-term path to address climate policy objectives and to establish a Canadian Centre for Climate Information and Analytics.

It also encouraged the private sector to take similar actions, noting the importance of collaboration between it and different levels of government to advance toward a low-carbon, climate-resilient economy.

CPA Canada’s submission also stressed the importance of remaining committed to priorities identified in Canada’s Digital Charter. Declaring the profession’s continued transformation for adapt to a digital, data-driven world, the group said government should keep pace, particularly with reform of key legislation.

“The digital economy impacts another shared interest of government and the accounting profession – taxation,” the group said in its submission. “The value of companies is increasingly in their intangible assets, and the products and services offered are increasingly digital.

“The fair taxation of digital services is a global challenge and best addressed in a globally-consistent manner,” the group added, calling on the federal government to change GST rules so that non-resident vendors collect the tax on intangible property and services, in keeping with the OECD’s “destination principle.”

CPA Canada also reiterated its call for a comprehensive review of Canada’s tax system, which it said should be led by an independent expert panel and guided by the principles of fairness, simplicity, efficiency and competitiveness.

Finally, the group urged more action to strengthen the country’s anti-money laundering regime. Noting the crime’s impact on the real estate market, on tax revenues, and on the integrity of Canada’s financial system and markets, the group called for bolstered coordination between federal, provincial, and territorial jurisdictions to ensure corporate statuses or other relevant legislation support consistent beneficial ownership information requirements.

“Additionally, we recommend the development of a national framework around whistleblowing … featuring secure channels for whistleblowers to report potential misconduct without fear of reprisal or recrimination,” CPA Canada said.


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