Message from the Executive Director

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November 2019


Hello to all CTF members—

This month, I would like to share some news about our publications.

The wide-ranging literature published by the Canadian Tax Foundation over many decades is an important part of our mandate to support tax scholarship and to provide insight to the community of tax practitioners. The consistently high quality delivered by our authors, external editors, and the Foundation editorial team is integral to this effort. It is important that we continue to invest in this area.

With this in mind, we have spent considerable time over the last year enhancing our editorial and publication processes, and we have also (as I mentioned in one of my recent messages) been reviewing our overall offering of publications. On the basis of this review, we have decided to launch, in early 2020, a quarterly, policy-focused newsletter titled Perspectives on Tax Law & Policy

 Canada needs informed voices on tax matters. Over the past year, our Board of Governors spent much time debating whether the Foundation, as the leading tax voice in the country, should be more engaged in broader public discussions of tax. This question about the Foundation’s role comes from two considerations. First, our conferences and our publications represent excellent work that could benefit a broader audience. Second, it is important that the Foundation, as an independent, non-partisan, non-profit organization, not infuse its work with advocacy; it must safeguard its reputation as an impartial, objective, and informed source.

With these considerations in mind, we struck an ad hoc committee to study the matter and make recommendations. The committee’s work and its particular proposals have brought an increased rigour to our thinking about the Foundation’s role, and a clarification of our mandate. The following is clear: the future of the Canadian tax system within a rapidly evolving global economy needs to be explored, and the Foundation can substantially contribute to such an effort, using its central position in the tax community to bring stakeholders together for informed discussion of policy.

The Perspectives newsletter is intended (as its name suggests) to present readers with a variety of perspectives on important issues in the tax system. Our hope is to bridge, through informed, accessible commentary, the gaps that exist between tax professionals, academics, policy makers, and the general public; and to deliver a publication that is reasonably accessible to non-specialist readers but still of vital interest to tax specialists. Our goal is to publish contributions from tax professionals in private practice and industry, from academics, and, ideally, from government officials.

I hope that you will enjoy this quarterly newsletter, and I hope that its diverse viewpoints on important issues will stimulate a lively dialogue in the wider community.

On a related note, we have decided, after careful deliberation, to retire our monthly newsletter, Canadian Tax Highlights. (Members will continue to receive a newsletter each month, with our new quarterly, Perspectives, complementing our other quarterly newsletters, Canadian Tax Focus and Tax for the Owner-Manager; the three will appear in successive months.) The founder and long-serving editor of Highlights, Vivien Morgan, will be retiring next month. Vivien has contributed to the Foundation for many years and in various capacities, as a freelance author, as our senior managing editor, and as editor of Highlights. In the last of these roles, Vivien has given us a monthly newsletter that, since its launch over a quarter of a century ago, has been an important part of the Canadian Tax Foundation’s publication program and a fixture in Canadian commentary on tax. Twenty-seven years ago, Vivien had the vision to conceive and establish this newsletter; since then, as the sole editor of Highlights during its long, successful run, she has had the energy and dedication to bring it to life each month.

Please join me in thanking Vivien for her contributions and in wishing her a long and happy retirement.

See you next month.

Heather L. Evans,
Executive Director and CEO