Hello to all CTF members—
My message last month was focused on the exciting programs and publications that the Foundation planned to share with you in 2020. Needless to say, the circumstances are significantly different as I write this message in mid-March. As the COVID-19 situation rapidly evolves, I am aware that by the time you read my comments, new developments will be upon us. Therefore, I won’t offer any more assurances about future events but will share with you only information that I know to be certain—that is, the concrete actions that we have taken to safeguard our staff, volunteers, and members, and our measures to support you in these difficult times.
As you know, we made the decision on March 12 to close our Toronto and Montreal offices. All of our staff is working remotely until April 6, at which time we will re-evaluate the situation. We will be regularly updating our COVID-19 Update for Tax Professionals page.
The Foundation has a relatively small but talented and very dedicated team that is continuing our work, including (1) virtual research assistance, from our librarians; (2) updates on publications and TaxFind, from the editorial group; and (3) event planning by the conferences team, which, as you might expect, is increasingly focused on innovative forms of delivery. Our finance group is ensuring that our operations continue without interruption and that our technology systems are robust. We also continue to liaise with stakeholders on key issues affecting our tax system, most recently the measures announced by the federal government in the financial stimulus package of March 18. A key part of our strategic plan for the Foundation was to become a more digital, collaborative organization, and I am pleased that, while there is still room for progress, our operations have continued almost seamlessly as we’ve migrated from our offices to a remote work environment.
We have decided to cancel a few upcoming events and to continue monitoring the situation, with an eye to further action as required. At this time, we remain optimistic that our fall conference season will proceed, perhaps in a different format than in the past. The planning for those events begins in the spring. We recently asked the volunteer program committees to share their current perspectives on how best to proceed. We were heartened by their response: most agreed that, though we will have to be prudent as the situation unfolds, it is vital that we continue to support the tax community with excellent content while remaining flexible and open to alternative, cost-effective delivery models. I know that the economic impact of this situation will be very significant for all. I can assure you that we will continue to help our members through difficult times. I encourage you all to take prudent measures to safeguard your health, and I look forward to seeing you again—in person—as soon as possible.
See you next month.
Heather L. Evans,
Executive Director and CEO