Message from the Executive Director

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February 2019

Hello to all CTF members—

One of the Foundation’s most important mandates is to support academic research, debate, and publication in the areas of taxation and public finance. Our connections with scholars—both in Canada and around the world—provide us with invaluable insights into emerging issues and bring us cross-jurisdictional comparisons and rigorous historical analysis. The academic tax community in Canada (which includes scholars from the disciplines of economics, law, and accounting) is relatively small, but its contributions to tax scholarship are disproportionately large. These contributions benefit not only other researchers but also government officials, policy makers, and practitioners.

Most of our members are familiar with the Foundation as a source of continuing tax education for professionals, most obviously through our tax conferences and, of course, through our research database, TaxFind. This month I would like to highlight some of the other work that we undertake in support of tax scholarship.

The most prominent of this other work is our publications. The flagship Canadian Tax Journal was established in 1952, and it has since established itself as one of the preeminent tax journals in the world. The journal is somewhat unique in that it publishes peer-reviewed articles—by authors from a variety of academic disciplines—as well as regular features with a more professional-services slant, written by practitioners. The journal’s readers are from all of these areas, academic and professional, and it thus disseminates important tax research not only across various disciplines in the academic community but also across the business community.

Apart from the Canadian Tax Journal (and the annual Conference Report), our crack editorial team, which supports authors throughout the publication process, is kept busy with a variety of other publishing projects involving tax academics—notably, monographs on a wide range of topics. Recent examples include a volume of essays on municipal tax options to finance the modern Canadian city, a collection of papers on tax treaties in light of the BEPS project, a compilation of historical essays marking the 100th anniversary of the Income Tax Act, and an exhaustive survey of user fees in Canada. The content of these books is rich and diverse, and it reflects evolving issues in the Canadian and international fiscal landscape.

Another of the Foundation’s important roles is to support events that bring together the community of tax academics. As I noted above, this community is relatively small and multidisciplinary, and events that enable it to gather and share ideas are immensely valuable. The Foundation has for years been a sponsor of the annual symposium organized by the University of Waterloo’s Centre for Taxation in a Global Economy. This gathering includes practitioners as well as academics, with a view to strengthening ties between tax professionals (from both government and industry) and academic researchers. In its ongoing efforts to convene the academic tax community, the Foundation has also recently collaborated with the School of Public Policy at the University of Calgary, the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto, and Osgoode Hall Law School at York University.

Outreach to the universities also includes students, of course, at both the undergraduate and the graduate levels. I have had the opportunity to meet with tax students at many schools, and I always enjoy the experience. The Foundation’s Québec Regional Director, Julie Vézina, has a well-developed outreach program with various Quebec universities. The continuing enthusiasm and interest in taxation as a career are clearly evident among these younger members of our community—a sign that we will enjoy many more years of engagement between tax scholars and the Foundation.

See you next month.

Heather L. Evans,
Executive Director and CEO