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1. CGA, CMA merger with Functional Tagging

The current proposal to merge the accounting bodies on Canada does not do the public any service. A major problem with the current merger is the requirement for legacy designation tagging.

This requirement will increase the number of designations from 3 to 4. There will be CPA, CAs; CPA, CMAs and CPA, CGAs in addition to newly qualified CPAs.

This only increases the confusion regarding designations in the market.

An alternative proposal in to have all members as CPAs, new and legacy, with publicly licensed members tagged CPA-A or CPA-T clarifying right away the functional competency of that member.

View petition

2. Hank JR induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame

Hank Williams Jr is the Pete Rose of getting into country music's hall of fame. He is the most deserving singer/songwriter not in yet. He should have been in decades ago. He is labeled an outlaw and his political views are blinding the association's vision of his true talents.

He is more deserving than half of the already inducted. I need your help to show the association that he belongs. It is not right or fair to the music world and all his fans. He has been in the business since the 50's law starting out very young after his father passed. Do this for me and all his fans. Look at his music not his views.

Vote Hank Williams Jr. Thank you and God bless.

View petition

3. Request for a vote to be held at a General Meeting for the proposed CA/CGA/CMA merger in Ontario

Website:
ontariocavote.com

Update: February 1

VOTE ON THE BYLAWS

As you know, the ICAO has distributed voting materials for the Special General Meeting to approve new bylaws admitting CMAs and CGAs into your Institute. We hope that you will consider this vote carefully, and understand why it is crucial to vote NO.

Many members have complained that the voting materials are confusing. They don’t know what to vote for. Worse yet, some have actually been led to believe that they need to vote YES to protect our CA. After all, who wouldn’t want to protect our CA designation???

Unfortunately, the message IS confusing, and perhaps deliberately made so by the ICAO. (Perhaps for the same reason why the ICAO scheduled this vote to coincide with audit busy season for many CAs?)
1.We encourage you to read the ICAO’s materials: http://www.icao.on.ca/CA/SGM/1009page15931.aspx

2.Watch the ICAO’s video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U7mO9oE_qN0

3.Attend the webinars scheduled through February and the townhall on February 21,2013: http://www.icao.on.ca/CPAOntario/InfoSessions/index.aspx

Is the ICAO’s doom and gloom warranted, or is it fear-mongering?

Is admitting CMAs and CGAs the only option available?

Are the bylaws really about protecting your CA?

Is this bylaw vote really a merger in disguise?

We’re CAs and we’re trained to think critically. Don’t just believe. Ask the tough questions. Is the ICAO’s message merely confusing, or could it be wrong and misleading, too?

Consider:
1.Is there in fact a legal requirement for the ICAO to issue CAs to Quebec CPAs? The ICAO says so…but that doesn’t make it true! Have there been throngs of Quebec CPAs demanding Ontario CA designations? Has our leadership at the Institute fought in court or objected to handing out CAs to non-equivalent accountants? Why would the ICAO concede unless it absolutely had to? Or, is there another agenda?

2.Even if you accept the ICAO’s position that it must give CAs to CPAs from other provinces, there is NO obligation for the ICAO to give CAs to Ontario CMAs or CGAs. Yet, the bylaws propose to do just that. Why? Are these bylaws really about protecting the CA, or is it about advancing the CPA agenda?

3.What evidence have you seen that the ICAO is promoting the CA brand? When was the last time you saw an advertisement about the CA brand? What has the ICAO done lately to promote the premier accounting designation in Canada? Guess what? They abandoned the CA years ago!

4.How does issuing CPAs to CMAs and CGAs protect your CA? The ICAO has already issued CPAs to all of us back in November 2012…and now it seeks approval to hand out CPAs to CMAs and CGAS. Hence, we are all going to be CPAs in the ICAO. Does turning all of us into CPAs, and then giving CPAs to non-equivalent accountants, protect the CA?

5.Who is confused by having CA, CMA and CGA brands? Does having a singular CPA brand improve the situation? Does tagging (CPA/CA, CPA/CMA, CPA/CGA) improve the situation?

6.Exactly how does handing out CPAs to CMAs and CGAs serve the public interest?

Do you want to protect your CA? Of course you do. That’s why you need to vote NO.

Voting NO means:
1.Ontario CGAs and CMAs cannot become members of the ICAO through the Affiliate category.

2.The ICAO cannot hand out CPAs to CMAs and CGAs in Ontario. Only CAs can be CPAs in Ontario.

3.You will send a strong message to the Attorney General that you do NOT support diluting the CA brand and that you are concerned about protecting the public interest by ensuring that only the most well-trained and best qualified professionals are able to call themselves CAs.

Spread the word.

VOTE NO

Update: November 2

Confused with what the ICAO is trying to pull with the new CPA designation? ....
Many members are, so we've tried to breakdown some of the important points

Background
The ICAO announced on October 26, 2012 that all Ontario CAs will become CPAs and that it will join CPA Canada. Many members have reached out to us to relay their frustration and confusion over what exactly the ICAO has done and what the implications are. We hope this email will clarify matters and help shed some much needed light.

Why do we need a CPA Designation?
The ICAO has continued to promote a fear among CAs that other designations (both national and international) can invade Ontario and make the CA irrelevant.
Since CAs in Ontario are well-established, have a reputable designation and dominate our relevant fields of practice, this fear mongering tactic is baseless. However, the ICAO’s lack of belief in its members ability to maintain the dominant position in Ontario has driven the ICAO to adopt the mantra of “if you can’t beat them, then join them.” And it indicates the ICAO’s own inability to represent the interest of its members.
The ICAO has pushed the strategy that we need to unify with all accounting designations nationwide in order to…”protect” our CA designation. It has offered no rational response to the dilution of the CA thanks to its strategy.
In order to execute a merger between CGAs, CMAs and CAs, the ICAO was aware that its members, Ontario CAs, would be required to vote on the proposed merger. The ICAO was also aware that its members were against a proposed merger. For example, Rod Barr, head of the ICAO, noted in the recent CPA webinar, the majority of Ontario CAs would stand against the merger.
The ICAO backdoor merger

Therefore, in order to force this merger through, the ICAO has “backdoored” the voting process by setting up the CPA designation. As the ICAO noted in its October 25th email:
“As the ICAO is not uniting with another accounting body at this time, we can proceed with adopting the CPA. No legislative amendments are required.”
The CPA designation that has been agreed upon by the ICAO required our current CA by-laws to be amended. The amendments included the
following:

Reg 6-3, Paragraph 4.1:
“Registration Categories
4. An individual who meets all the criteria of one of the subsections of this section meets the requirements of subsection 2.4:
4.1 Other Ontario Accounting Designation - an individual who is a member in good standing with The Certified General Accountants Association of Ontario or the Certified Management Accountants of Ontario.”
http://www.icao.on.ca/Resources/Membershandbook/1011page6645.pdf

What has the ICAO offered?

In effect, the new ICAO by-laws allow CMAs and CGAs to unilaterally use the CA and CPA designations.
This backdoor strategy was a shock because the ICAO offered:
• NO vote to its members on joining CPA Canada
• NO explanation of why this benefits our members who worked hard to earn our CAs
• NO mention of why this monumental change in our profession is good for the public interest
• NO regard for democracy or due process
• NO explanation for why giving us the SAME designation as CGAs and CMAs is not diluting our CA brand.
Clearly, the ICAO, your representative body whom you pay hefty annual fees to, has no interest in listening to you, its members. Moreover, the three members we elected to the ICAO Board are being drowned out by the 17 other members.

WE NEED TO ACT NOW!
The by-law amendments WILL BE put to a vote. The ICAO has not pointed out the importance of this vote to ensure the by-laws are passed without any road blocks from Ontario CAs.
We encourage you to express your dissatisfaction with the ICAO’s intent to compromise the integrity and quality of the Chartered Accountancy designation to the Attorney General: attorneygeneral@ontario.ca.

Write to Minister John Gerretsen and let him know how you feel.
(Please copy us on your message at info@ontariocavote.com)

PLEASE, CONTINUE TO SPREAD THE WORD.
There many of Ontario CAs who are still in dark regarding this issue!
Tell your CA colleagues who have not yet signed the petition, to sign and join the thousands of CAs who are concerned about protecting the integrity of our profession.
We continue to hear of CAs who are worried that publicly stating their disagreement with the merger could affect their careers. Remember, however, signing the petition is not about disagreement, it is about due process.

Thank you for your support,

Concerned CAs.



Update: October 23
(Note this message was posted on the website Oct 4. We are aware of the ICAO's message yesterday and have heard from many of you. We are crafting a response.)

WE GOT THE VOTE!


On October 4, 2012, the ICAO announced that it continues to support the unification led by CPA Canada.
http://www.icao.on.ca/CPAOntario/documents/InstituteE-letter20121003CICA.pdf


Even though CMA and CGA Ontario have left discussions in our province, the ICAO is intent on merging CAs with CMAs and CGAs across Canada. Why?

Basic questions remain unanswered. No one has explained clearly why this is good for our profession or good for our clients! No one has justified why unification will not result in a dilution of our hard-earned CA brand or enhance public interest. Yet, the ICAO has announced that it is already getting set to hand out CPAs?!?!

The good news is that we now know how this “unification” is going to happen in Ontario.

The ICAO will put unification to our members in the form of a vote on bylaw amendments. In order to make the CPA a reality in Ontario, the ICAO is asking our members to approve bylaw changes to allow it to join CPA Canada.

Every CA who cares about our profession, who takes pride in our work and who values integrity in our designation should stand up. Now.

Over the next few months, the ICAO will restart its propaganda machine. Townhalls, webinars and (another expensive) Pollara survey and who knows what other uses of our fees.

PLEASE take an active interest, and spread the word:

1.Show up at the Town Halls and Webinars; ask the important questions and don’t settle for weak answers. Be heard!

2.Participate in the Pollara survey, and ask to see the results (hey, we’re paying for it!)

3.Watch out for any news about the bylaw changes and the vote…then get out and VOTE!

Update: June 21

At the AGM today, the following pro-binding vote individuals were elected:

Arnie Bose,
Delna Madon and
Alan Mak.

The following individuals were also elected:

Bridge, Marrianne
Ferrari, Anita
Henderson, Christie E.
Wright, John
Scullion, Robert

The election results were given after at least three delays, apparently due to the large number of proxies.

Other Highlights of the AGM, included:

The outgoing Chair of Council offered reasons the profession should merge, including his belief that the merger is in the public interest, moments before the election results were revealed.

The ICAO has budgeted a deficit in excess of $1 million for F2013.

Update: June 18

It's not too late to vote. You can still VOTE, in one of two ways:

1. You can attend and present a completed and signed ballot at the ICAO AGM; or
2. Have a member in good standing present the completed and signed ballot on your behalf at the Meeting.

For your convenience, Reagan Ruslim, CA LLB has volunteered to deliver proxy ballots to the AGM on behalf of members who can't attend the AGM in person. Please feel free to mail your completed and signed ballots to Reagan at the following address:

Reagan Ruslim CA, CHRP, LL.B
Dunsmore Law P.C.
2751 Bloor Street West
Toronto, ON
M8X 1A6



MISPLACED YOUR BALLOT?

If you have misplaced your ballots, you can obtain and complete a blank ballot by doing the following:

1. Visit the ICAO voting page at: http://www.icao.on.ca/CA/CouncilElection/1011page15152.aspx
2. Retrieve a blank ballot by clicking on "2012 Ballot and Proxy"
3. Retrieve your voter number by clicking on "Retrieve Voter Number"
4. Complete and sign the ballot (include your voter number too), and either bring it to the AGM in person or mail it to Reagan at the above address.


DEADLINE:

Please complete and send your ballots to Regan as soon as you can, the ICAO AGM is held next Wednesday June 20th. The ballots can only be submitted between 3:30pm to 4:30pm.

Update: June 13

We have been advised that a current pro-merger candidate running for ICAO Council re-election noted in an email Friday to his firm, that “As you may be aware, if I'm re-elected, I will also become Chair of ICAO for the next two years. This will ensure that our firm has strong leadership representation at important policy meetings both here in Ontario, and at the national and global levels.”

According to the ICAO Handbook, the Chair and Vice-Chair positions are elected by Council members at the first ICAO Council meeting following the election results. Have crucial leadership positions already been made by insiders?

If you do not like the direction the ICAO has taken, we strongly encourage you to vote today. Change is needed! Our profession and our representative body are at stake.

The polls for the ICAO Council will close today. We’d like to remind everyone to vote. Moreover, we’d like to remind everyone to remind their CA network to vote.
Electronic and mailed-in ballots will be accepted until today at 5.00pm.

Voting instructions can be found on www.ontariocavote.com and/or the ICAO website and/or the ICAO voting package you should have received in the mail. You can vote on-line or via paper ballot.

Eight of the 20 ICAO Council positions are open. Each CA may cast a vote for up to eight candidates.
The following eight candidates are worth considering because they have said they believe that a fundamental change in Council is required, one that focuses on increased accountability, transparency, and respect for members views for a binding vote on key decisions that pertain to all members:

Bose, Arnie (Candidate 02)
Chit, Ahmad (Candidate 04)
Lennie, Stephen (Candidate 11)
Madon, Delna (Candidate 12)
Mak, Alan T. (Candidate 13)
Tang, John (Candidate 15)
Tsui, Ricky (Candidate 16)
Wong, Wing-Lok (Candidate 17)

This election is critical because we – the body of CAs across Ontario – will be able to appoint representatives to the Council who represent our views. It was just a year ago that the ICAO Council elections were held where candidates did NOT disclose the impending merger in their election platform, nor their positions on it.

We – like you – believe in due process for our profession. Updates will be on our website www.ontariocavote.com and posted on the petition website http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/request-for-a-vote-to-be-held-at-a-general-meeting-for.html. Please direct other CAs to these sites.

Thank you,
Concerned CAs.

Update June 5:
With the polls for the upcoming ICAO Council closing in just over a week, we’d like to remind everyone to vote. Moreover, we’d like to remind everyone to remind their network of CAs to vote.

Electronic and mailed-in ballots will be accepted until June 13th at 5.00pm.

Voting instructions can be found on www.ontariocavote.com and/or the ICAO website and/or the ICAO voting package you should have received in the mail.

You can vote on-line or via paper ballot. Eight of the 20 ICAO Council positions are open. Each CA may cast a vote for up to eight candidates.

The following eight candidates are worth considering because they have said they believe that a fundamental change in Council is required, one that focuses on increased accountability, transparency, and respect for members views for a binding vote on key decisions that pertain to all members:

Bose, Arnie (Candidate 02)
Chit, Ahmad (Candidate 04)
Lennie, Stephen (Candidate 11)
Madon, Delna (Candidate 12)
Mak, Alan T. (Candidate 13)
Tang, John (Candidate 15)
Tsui, Ricky (Candidate 16)
Wong, Wing-Lok (Candidate 17)

This election is critical because we – the body of CAs across Ontario – will be able to appoint representatives to the Council who represent our views. It was just a year ago that the ICAO Council elections were held where candidates did NOT disclose the impending merger in their election platform, nor their positions on it.

We are proud to say that we have had a great deal of support over the last several months, particularly since the website was launched thanking us for our efforts. We – like you – believe in due process for our profession.

Updates will be made on our website www.ontariocavote.com and posted on the petition website http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/request-for-a-vote-to-be-held-at-a-general-meeting-for.html.

Please direct other CAs to these sites.

As you may know, both the CMA and CGA leadership have recently shed some light on the merger discussions. (For more details see: http://www.electricvillages.com/clients/CMA/June%202012/message.html

and

http://visioncga.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/Member-Announcement-120530-FINAL1.pdf

The other two professional bodies recognize the importance of a member vote and two-thirds majority support needed to effect a legal merger. Why does the ICAO continue to refuse to acknowledge its ethical and moral obligations to us as members?

In response to the recent CMA and CGA announcements, ICAO leadership today released a broadcast message to Ontario CAs refuting the CGA’s and CMA’s view that a vote is necessary to effect a merger, arguing, among other things, that:

“[The CMA and CGA] saw unification as an amalgamation of three corporations; we see it as the creation of a new organization.”

Many questions are begged from the ICAO’s opaque and continued advocacy of the merger. The ICAO’s dogged determination to seek unification without the support of its members or supposed partner organizations is alarming, to say the least.

Update May 29:

PLEASE VOTE in the ICAO Council Elections.

Merger talks are falling apart all across the Canada, yet we believe the CICA and ICAO fully intend to pursue unification. The possibility of this poorly thought-out and badly communicated merger is still very much a live issue!

The Globe and Mail published the following article today:

Accountants' merger talks flounder - The Globe and Mail

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/accountants-merger-tal
ks-founder/article2445792/

Perhaps not coincidentally, the CICA sent a broadcast email to all CAs reaffirming the drive towards a unified CPA across Canada:

“Progress continues on uniting the Canadian accounting profession under the new Canadian Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) designation. This newsletter is designed to keep you up-to-date on the latest developments, including the results of member feedback, the decisions of the provincial bodies, and related unification news.”

For reasons that have yet to be explained clearly, the CICA and ICAO are doggedly pursuing unification despite clear indication to the contrary by thousands of CAs. Members of all disciplines, ages and employment have told us that the unification process has been “very badly handled” and that they are “against the merger”. It’s time that our voices are heard.

Again this year, EIGHT (8) positions open of the SIXTEEN (16) elected members who sit on Council (the remaining four seats are filled by appointees of the Lieutenant Governor in Council of Ontario). It is CRUCIAL that we take this opportunity to elect members who will speak on our behalf. We are confidant that our candidates will bring a spotlight of accountability and transparency to Council.

Our website: http://www.ontariocavote.com/ has details on the candidates we believe will focus on increased accountability, transparency and respect for member views by the ICAO.

The EIGHT candidates we ask you to consider are:

Bose, Arnie (Candidate 02)
Chit, Ahmad (Candidate 04)
Lennie, Stephen (Candidate 11)
Madon, Delna (Candidate 12)
Mak, Alan T. (Candidate 13)
Tang, John (Candidate 15)
Tsui, Ricky (Candidate 16)
Wong, Wing-Lok (Candidate 17)

Ballots have been mailed to each member and you may vote by surface mail or on-line by June 13, 2012.

You may vote on-line if you know your ICAO number and ICAO password.

Step 1: Go here: http://www.icao.on.ca/CA/CouncilElection/1011page15152.aspx

Step 2: Click "Retrieve Voter Number" and log in

Step 3: Go here: https://www.proxypush.ca/icaovote and copy and paste in your voter number and vote

Stay tuned...

Update May 28, 2012


As you may be aware, on May 15 Ontario CGAs and CMAs withdrew from discussions with the ICAO. While some CAs were quick to jump to the conclusion that the merger is dead, that is certainly NOT TRUE.

• Today the CICA issued the following press release: “The CA and CMA organizations, working with those CGA provincial affiliates participating in unification discussions, will continue to develop the new CPA certification program. A draft competency map for the new program has already been created and development of program modules will commence shortly. CMA Canada and CICA are also working with the remaining CGA bodies in unification discussions to develop the plan to create CPA Canada. CPA Canada will be the new national body that will support provincial CPA bodies. Its first task will be to take over development of the new CPA certification program.”

http://cpacanada.ca/blog/2012/05/28/ca-and-cma-organizations-confirm-unification-discussions-continue/

• The ICAO issued a press release on May 15, stating:
“The ICAO will remain part of the national unification process….We continue to believe that unification would benefit all accountants, protect the public interest and strengthen the future of accounting in Canada….”

• The CICA issued the following update to members on May 16, stating:
“Today, the Quebec CA, CMA and CGA bodies informed their members that the Province of Quebec has passed Bill 61…. This historic move positions the accounting profession in Quebec to be the first to unite under the Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) designation.”

• Senior officials of the ICAO are still making the rounds to solicit support for unification. On May 29, the North York District Chartered Accountants Association will host an event where the head of the ICAO will: “speak to us regarding ‘Unifying the Canadian Accounting Profession.’”

So, we urge you to continue pushing for a binding vote on this critical issue.

One way of accomplishing that is to VOTE in the upcoming ICAO Council Elections.

There are 18 candidates running for EIGHT available positions. We have identified eight candidates who support a democratic process to call a binding vote on the issue of unification. We urge you to consider supporting this slate of eight candidates:

• Arnie Bose
• Ahmad Chit
• Stephen Lennie
• Delna Madon
• Alan Mak
• John Tang
• Ricky Tsui
• Wing-Lok Wong

Voting materials will be sent out starting this week (May 28, 2012) with balloting for the Council election to close June 13, 2012 at 5pm. The election results will be released at the ICAO’s Annual General Meeting set for June 20, 2012.

We also ask that you continue to SPREAD THE WORD. Tell your CA colleagues who have not yet signed the petition, to sign and join the thousands of CAs who are concerned about protecting the integrity of our profession. We continue to hear of CAs who are worried that publicly stating their disagreement with the merger could affect their careers. Remember, however, signing the petition is not about disagreement, it is about due process.

http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/request-for-a-vote-to-be-held-at-a-general-meeting-for.html

Note that the voting package sent by mail does NOT contain candidate bios.

Please see the attached link for bios:

http://www.icao.on.ca/CA/CouncilElection/1011page15152.aspx

We know the big firms have already start sending out their recommendations for who they suggest voting for. Please be sure you review the bios of those you vote for.

Update May 15, 2012

Ontario CMAs and Ontario CGAs Withdraw

The following was sent to members today:
"Today, the Certified Management Accountants of Ontario and Certified General Accountants of Ontario announced that they will no longer be part of unification discussions in Ontario or nationally. The ICAO will remain part of the national unification process.

We continue to believe that unification would benefit all accountants, protect the public interest and strengthen the future of accounting in Canada. The ICAO is encouraged that across Canada support for unification is strong. Therefore, it is important for us to stay involved with developments across the country and work with those who share our beliefs.

We will continue to keep you informed of any new developments. As always, if you have any questions or comments, please feel free to share them with us by e-mail at: Member_Viewpoint@icao.on.ca.

Sincerely,

Gregory M. Gallant, FCA
Chair


R.N. (Rod) Barr, FCA
President and Chief Executive Officer"

Update April 18, 2012

Tagging among contentious issues

We received the letters that were distributed April 13, 2012 to Ontario CGAs and CMAs by their respective associations re. the merger delay. The letters were virtually identically.

The following is an excerpt from the CMA letter:

“While we’ve made some progress in our joint discussions, there are still a number of issues that need to be resolved before a member proposal can be issued. These include:
• A legal structure and a member ratification process that would be acceptable to the Boards of all three parties to effect the unification. To be clear, at this point, the three bodies are not in agreement as to the required legal structure to effect a merger and the appropriate member ratification process to legally effect such a structure;
• Enforceable commitments regarding member protection and minority rights;
• Full access to the global designation. The business case for unification is founded on the premise that CPA will emerge as the global designation. If instead it becomes apparent that the CA will emerge as the global designation, and a decision is made to revert or continue to use the CA designation, legacy CMAs (who would be CPA, CMAs under unification) need to be granted full and equal access to the use of the CA designation;
• Agreement on the information and documentation the members of the three organizations would be given on which to base their vote;
• The transitional governance structure;
• The national governance model, including clearly defined roles and responsibilities; and,
• The inconsistencies across the country with respect to the use of the CPA designation.”

Another issue Ontario CAs have been asking us is whether they should pay their CA dues, which are payable without penalty by June 1, 2012. We don’t have an opinion at this time. We appreciate your frustration. If the dues are paid, the ICAO may see this as support of the merger. If the dues aren’t paid, the ICAO may see this as support for the diminishing value of the CA and a reason to merge. The only advice we can offer is if your dues unpaid, you will not be a member in good standing -- and thus, will not be able to vote.

UPDATE: April 13, 2012

Merger Delay:

ICAO leaders Rod Barr and Gregory Gallant today issued an email to CAs in Ontario that “The CGAO and CMAO have advised that they need some time to think further about, expand and resolve certain issues before moving ahead. While we are disappointed in the delay, we are nonetheless encouraged that they continue to support unification.” The pair did not indicate what the “certain issues” were nor did they offer a timeline. Instead, Barr and Gallant reiterated their pro-merger position and noted that “the vote - planned for June - will be delayed.” There are 35,000 CAs in Ontario.

Council Elections:

The deadline to run for the ICAO Council elections is May 15, 2012, http://www.icao.on.ca/CA/AGM/CouncilNom/1011page14745.aspx. There are eight positions open. Despite the frustration Ontario CAs are sharing with us that the current Council has been unresponsive to Ontario CA concerns and Council members elected last summer did not mention the merger in their election platforms -- we encourage you to run. It is probably the only way to get your voice truly heard.

The founder of this Go Petition, Ricky Tsui, is running.

BC:
In a survey released April 11, 2012, 3,334 of the 11,144 BC CAs invited to participate in a poll did. In response to the question “How likely are you to endorse a recommendation from Council to BC government to proceed with the restructuring if supported by stakeholders?” 30% replied they were strongly likely.

http://cpacanada.ca/blog/2012/04/11/update-on-status-of-bc-member-surveys/


Manitoba:

In a non-binding poll released April 2, 2012, 785 Manitoba CAs indicated that they supported Council’s proposal to merge CAs and CMAs. The total number of Manitoba CAs who participated in the vote was 1,414. The non-binding poll asked whether CGAs should join the merger discussion. Of the 1,357 members who responded to that question, 416 were strongly in favour. The three-way merger is being considered in Ontario.

http://www.icam.mb.ca/updates/update_032312.html


Saskatchewan:
Saskatchewan’s ICAS posted a Merger Update March 30, 2012. Similar to Ontario, Saskatchewan will given its members a non-binding vote. Similar to the ICAO, the ICAS has given itself a few outs with respect to the vote: A) if the voter turnout is less than 25% AND/OR B) if a majority of other provinces are moving forward with the merger.

Hopefully, we will have an update on what issues Ontario CMAs and CGAs are grappling with. No new news on Alberta….


UPDATE: March 12, 2012

A few updates today.

Why Alberta pulled out – Proposal Details Incomplete

First, Alberta has posted the rationale for its decision to pull out of the merger talks. Even if we DO get a binding vote, we SHOULD pay attention as the main argument is there isn’t enough information to make an analytical decision. In a newsletter sent to members March 8 (http://www.albertacas.ca/Resources/UnitingtheCanadianAccountingProfessionProject.aspx), D. Blair Nixon, president ICAA Council, noted the following:

“During the course of those negotiations, it became obvious to ICAA Council that there were pressing issues—predominantly in the areas of “tagging” or naming, as well as the rigour of the proposed education, regulation and professional standards—that were beyond the scope of provincial discussions, and were best resolved nationally. Unfortunately, it was equally clear that these issues were not going to be coordinated and resolved at the national or interprovincial levels within the suggested timeframes of this unification project.

CAs have been trained to be analytical. That being the case, the ICAA Council felt that its members would prefer to vote on a proposal that lays out the full details of a merger, its impacts and the implementation process. We believed that this “detail-based” approach is the appropriate basis upon which we should expect members to vote, especially in circumstances where Alberta CAs would not be in the majority position after a three-way merger was effected. This detail-based approach is not unlike the disclosure requirements that governments impose on other organizations which are proposing a fundamental change in their relationships with their respective members. Furthermore, we believe full details will be required to gain support from the Alberta government for this fundamental change to the accounting profession.”

Council Election:

http://www.icao.on.ca/CA/AGM/CouncilNom/1011page14745.aspx

As the above link shows, the ICAO is holding elections for EIGHT Council positions. The deadline is May 15, 2012, two months later than last year’s deadline. We will not speculate on why the ICAO has delayed elections and the AGM this year.

Despite the frustration members have shared re. Council and ICAO leadership’s unwillingness to listen to members’ request for a binding vote, we still encourage you to run. We encourage you to look beyond Council members elected last summer who uniformly did NOT cite the merger in their election platforms. If you want to change the direction of ICAO leadership, start by setting an example and run with a transparent platform. We have also heard rumblings about whether the election process will be transparent. It is our understanding that there is an independent third-party overseeing the election. However, that needs to be validated.

Pollara:

The ICAO continues to sample the ICAO membership on how they feel about the merger through Pollara. It is not a blanket survey, so do not respond to the survey via someone else’s forwarded email. Wait until you receive your random survey from Pollara. Please, do not give up and think the survey is pointless as ICAO leadership seems to be ignoring you. Respond and continue to share your opinions.

Taking a page from the CGAs:

Yes, we know that in a January 17 email to CGAs, Blake Mercer, Chair CGA of Ontario and Doug Brooks, CEO, CGA of Ontario, advised members: “Ultimately, it is you, the member, who will decide through a vote if CGA Ontario proceeds with a merger.”

We hope Gallant and Barr are listening to what Mercer and Brooks are saying. At the very least, Ontario CAs deserve what Mercer and Brooks are giving Ontario CGAs – a binding vote on this pivotal issue.


UPDATE February 29

We’ve been asked for our feedback regarding the Globe and Mail article. The author didn’t dig enough to understand the difference between the designations. For example, why are the vast majority of the CFOs of the largest companies on the TSX CAs? Why is there only one CMA and no CGAs among that elite group? Clearly, the market recognizes the difference. Second, why are the leadership of various provincial CA institutes against a binding vote? Third, the issue of public interest wasn’t addressed.

We’ve also been asked for feedback with respect to today’s communication from ICAO’s Barr and Gallant, which comes on the heels of the Globe story. The communication is full of rhetoric, it contains flawed logic and it raises many questions. One example, relates to the (non-binding) vote: “Council takes its responsibilities to members very seriously. So, although it is not required by our legislation or bylaws, Council decided in October that all members will have the opportunity to express their views on any proposed merger through a vote…That said, subject to the views of the Attorney General, we will only proceed to ask the government for this new legislation if our members are in favour of the proposal, with two possible exceptions:
• if a majority of the other provinces vote for unification and Ontario doesn't; or
• if ICAO voter turnout is so low that only a small fraction of our membership would be deciding the outcome of this very important issue for all of the others.
In any case, Council has a duty to consider what the public interest and the interests of the profession require.”
So, why does Council – who were elected as recently as last year and who uniformly FAILED to mention the merger in their election platforms – act as if it is doing a favour by giving its membership a non-binding vote (i.e. a poll) in (maybe) June? Moreover, ICAO elections have historically had a low vote turnout. Will Council enact any measures to ensure there is a higher turnout this time around? Also, since ICAO and CICA leadership has shown a clear bias in pushing forward with the merger, what comfort will it offer members that the vote results will be genuine? Will there be a transparent voting process? Also, even if there is a low turnout, what gives the ICAO Council, a very small number of individuals who were elected WITHOUT mentioning the merger in their election platforms, the right to decide the fate of Ontario CAs?

Our key suggestion is to continue to write to the Attorney General, your MP and your MPP….stay tuned.

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