Next government must provide environment for business growth

CGA-Canada open letter calls for frank talk on looming challenges

VANCOUVER, April 12 /CNW/ - In an open letter to the leaders of Canada's five major political parties, Anthony Ariganello, President and CEO of CGA-Canada, calls on the next government to seize the opportunity to reduce barriers to economic growth and employment through efficient policies around tax simplification and red tape reduction.

"Today's tight fiscal climate is precisely the right time to undertake measures to safeguard our fragile economic recovery and improve the business environment, yet we're hearing little real debate so far on how the major parties will tackle the hottest issues," says Ariganello. The open letter can be read on the association's election website, launched today.

"Canada's tax system has grown to become a convoluted tangle of rules, credits and exceptions that even the people who administer it find difficult to navigate. The burden of complying with this complexity is most seriously felt by SMEs, who lack the resources of larger enterprises and must divert their attention from more innovative and productive pursuits," says Ariganello.

Among specific measures proposed by CGA-Canada is to introduce a 'sunset provision' to help clear the backlog of unlegislated tax proposals that cause uncertainty for taxpayers, preparers and administrators.

On regulation, CGA-Canada notes that the country's regulatory system has evolved to become a vast mess of overlapping, costly and confusing requirements, with the compliance burden an overwhelming drain on the limited resources of SMEs. "We simply must find smarter and more efficient ways to achieve the regulatory protections we desire," says Ariganello.

Measures proposed by CGA-Canada include the new government convening a Federal-Provincial-Territorial-Municipal meeting to agree on a cooperative framework for reducing red tape. Surveys consistently show that it is the cumulative effect of regulatory duplication that is the most onerous aspect of compliance.

In the open letter, CGA-Canada also identifies the hot issues that the next government must prioritize:

  • Renegotiating health transfers to the provinces
  • Adapting to the healthcare challenges of an increasingly older population
  • Creating long-term funding for cities and necessary public infrastructure
  • Providing pension and retirement income security; and
  • Ensuring the sustainability of Canada's social programs as the country's population ages

These challenges will require extensive consultation and difficult financial choices. All the more reason, says Ariganello, why the next government should deal with the relatively manageable challenges of tax and regulatory reform now.

About CGA-Canada

Founded in 1908, the Certified General Accountants Association of Canada serves 75,000 Certified General Accountants and students in Canada and more than 90 countries. Respected accounting and financial management professionals, CGAs work in industry, finance, government and public practice. CGA-Canada establishes the designation's certification requirements and professional standards, offers professional development, conducts research and advocacy, and represents CGAs nationally and internationally.


For further information:

For more information on CGA-Canada visit:

For further information, please contact:
Taylore Ashlie
Director, Communications
Telephone: 604 605-5055
Cellular: 604 307-0212

Stephanie Thatcher
Senior Communications Advisor
Telephone: 604 694-6700

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