Group split

An apparent rift among the organizations representing chartered professional accountants in Canada became public when two provincial groups said they are severing ties with their national counterpart.

Press releases short on details suggest the provincial groups and the national body are at odds over how best to represent CPAs across the country.

CPA Canada said in a press release Tuesday evening that it is disappointed and surprised that CPA Ontario and CPA Quebec have decided to break with the national organization.

While it didn’t give specifics on the nature of the break, the organization said it has worked with provincial, territorial and Bermudian CPA bodies to find a path forward on governance and national representation of CPAs since the profession was unified a decade ago.

It said that more recently, it “entered into discussions with CPA Ontario and CPA Quebec to progress the issue,” and called upon the provincial organizations to re-engage and work with a conciliator, as well as establish a clear timeline.

In separate press releases, the Ontario and Quebec organizations announced their intent to end their current formal relationships with CPA Canada.

The two organizations said their decisions will enable them to better fulfil their missions and support their members.

CPA Ontario president and CEO Carol Wilding said in a press release that the organization’s decision follows extensive discussions with the national group as well as its provincial and territorial counterparts. The organization said it remains committed to working closely with its provincial and territorial counterparts on important matters to the profession, “including maintaining a world-class, portable CPA designation.”

The Quebec organization had a similar message in its press release, saying it will ensure a smooth transition and minimize disruption for members and other stakeholders.

The decision by the two provincial bodies “comes despite the progress made recently and our desire to find a successful resolution,” CPA Canada said, adding that it shares the goals of Ontario and Quebec to improve governance, transparency and accountability, and has demonstrated openness to many of the proposals put forward.

CPA Canada said it believes any resolution must involve all provincial, territorial and Bermudian CPA bodies and not only focus on the wishes of one or two provinces.

The break triggers an 18-month withdrawal period under the groups’ current agreement, CPA Canada said.