Certified General Accountants Association of Canada welcomes changes to Agreement on Internal Trade

    VANCOUVER, Jan. 22 /CNW/ - The Certified General Accountants Association
of Canada (CGA-Canada) applauds the changes to the Agreement on Internal Trade
(AIT) agreed to last week by the first ministers to remove barriers that
restrict labour mobility across the country.
    These amendments will adopt and apply what is known as the mutual
recognition principle. This principle states that anyone qualified for an
occupation or trade in a province or territory will be accepted in all other
Canadian jurisdictions without additional training, testing or assessment. The
changes will also accept the principle that competencies and abilities can be
acquired through different combinations of training and experience.
    Another professional accounting body, however, has publicly stated that
competition and labour mobility in the field of public accounting will lead to
a "race to the bottom". To suggest that changes to the AIT will lower
standards is quite simply not true. In fact, evidence suggests that the very
opposite will occur as competition results in lower prices, higher quality,
and better service.
    "This position expressed by the Canadian Institute of Chartered
Accountants is really about restricting competition, which certainly is not in
the public interest," says Anthony Ariganello, President and Chief Executive
Officer of CGA-Canada. "Competition in the marketplace is healthy. It is good
for businesses and individuals. The 2007 federal Competition Bureau study sent
a strong signal to governments and regulatory bodies that laws and regulations
that impede access to certain professions, such as public accounting, are
unnecessary and stifle competition. In that regard, Canada's first ministers
should be congratulated for supporting the removal of unnecessary
protectionist barriers and improving the labour mobility of qualified Canadian
    All of Canada's certified general accountants (CGAs) meet national
standards of qualification. Indeed, independent analysis confirms that the CGA
qualification requirements and education program lead to results equivalent to
those of its competitors, meet or surpass all international standards and best
practices, and are sufficient to protect the public interest.
    "Clearly, the time has come for CGAs to be permitted to provide public
accounting services in all jurisdictions in Canada," adds Ariganello. "An
accountant who is deemed competent to practice public accounting in Alberta,
for example, should be deemed competent to practice public accounting in
Ontario. This is the core principle of the AIT agreement, an agreement that
the Council of the Federation recently reaffirmed."

    About CGA-Canada

    CGA is the fastest-growing accounting designation in Canada. The CGA
designation focuses on integrity, ethics and the highest education
requirements. Recognized as the country's accounting business leaders, CGAs
provide strategic counsel, financial leadership, and overall direction to all
sectors of the Canadian economy.
    The Association sets standards, develops education programs, publishes
professional materials, advocates on public policy issues, and represents CGAs
nationally and internationally. The Certified General Accountants Association
of Canada represents 71,000 CGAs and students in Canada, Bermuda, the
Caribbean, Hong Kong, and China.

For further information:

For further information: Taylore Ashlie, Director, Communications,
CGA-Canada, Telephone: (604) 605-5055, Cell: (604) 307-0212, Email:

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