Message from the Executive Director

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January 2020

Hello to all CTF members—

Welcome to a new year and a new decade.

Here at the Foundation, after a restful break, the team is already busy working on the 2020 conferences and on various other projects that will benefit our members. Let me give you a preview of what to expect in the coming year.

Planning is now underway for the first major event in our core conference program—the Prairie Provinces Tax Conference & Live Webcast, which will be held this year on June 1-2 in Winnipeg. In the coming months, we will be busy working with our other volunteer program committees on the British Columbia, Ontario, and Atlantic Tax conferences, as well as on the 72nd Annual Tax Conference, which returns to Calgary at the end of November. The volunteers on these committees are instrumental in developing a compelling list of topics and in identifying great speakers with insights to share, and we are very grateful for the time they invest in the Foundation for the benefit of the tax community. I am pleased to report that we will also be hosting a second major event in Calgary this year; before the annual conference, in early October, the biennial tax dispute resolution conference, jointly sponsored by the Foundation and the Tax Court of Canada, will be held. This collaboration is always informative for practitioners, and it provides a helpful forum for the exchange of views with the bench. Finally, our new Regional Director, Lucie Bélanger, is finalizing the program of events for Québec, with a topical selection of tax matters to be delivered in both official languages. I look forward to seeing many of you at our conferences this year.

We are also busy on the publications front, with a couple of special projects to complement our usual roster of newsletters, conference reports, and the Canadian Tax Journal. In March, we will launch the inaugural issue of Perspectives on Tax Law & Policy. This newsletter aims to provide a variety of perspectives on important policy-related issues in the tax system, with the goal of fostering informed, accessible commentary that will bridge the gap between tax professionals, policy makers, and the general public. Each issue of Perspectives will address a broad, compelling theme in taxation, anchored by a central article that surveys the theme and complemented by shorter articles, each by a different author, that comment on selected aspects of the theme, stimulating discussion and debate. Another exciting publication scheduled for this spring is the 5th edition of Taxation of Private Corporations & Their Shareholders. In the interests of sharing this work’s topical content as quickly as possible, we have been adding chapters to TaxFind as they emerge from the editing process; as I write, about half of the chapters are available. The digital format is valuable, of course (our analytics tell us that these chapters are currently the most popular material on TaxFind), but we are looking forward nonetheless to holding a book launch on the arrival of the hard-copy text, in celebration of the hard-working authors, and I expect that many of us will find a place on our shelf for the traditional version of this invaluable reference tool.

Finally, we plan to start work later this year on the next phase of Taxfind enhancements. When we developed the new platform, we committed to a goal of continuous system improvement, with the regular rollout of additional features. It has been approximately 18 months since the 2018 launch of the updated version of TaxFind, and we now have a sufficient record of users’ activity to identify, through the application of analytics to the captured data, options for providing even better content-discovery capabilities. These insights, complemented by user input, will help us develop a robust roadmap for TaxFind. I will keep you updated as this project unfolds.

One last comment. All of the Foundation’s work—conferences, publications, and TaxFind—is improved and made more relevant through feedback from members. Please continue to share your thoughts and ideas with us.

See you next month.

Heather L. Evans,
Executive Director and CEO