Open Letter to The Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development

I understand that your Minister of Science launched a review of innovation policy on June 13th of this year, and that you are now responsible for that review.

As a CPA and income tax practitioner my clients will be very much affected by changes to Canada’s existing policies designed to encourage innovation. I am a member of an ad hoc CATA “LinkedIn Group”. As such I am aware of lobbying efforts being made by CATA to your Ministry.

I feel that I must point out to you that CATA does not represent the vast majority of my clients and that while their lobbying efforts have some merit, you should not believe that they necessarily represent the best interests of the entire community.

They are presenting your Ministry with a complex suite of recommendations and seeking validation from members using online petitions. As you would expect, their petitions overly simplify the situation, making it much easier for busy executives to “just say yes”.

I have reproduced their most recent online questionnaire below:

I cannot in all conscience respond to this survey. It appears that my only option is to reply “Yes”. Any attempt at a “nuanced” response, will presumably be ignored, since they have already determined what their proposals are.

SO WHO IS CATA and WHO DO THEY REPRESENT?

The small, early stage companies that I typically represent are very seldom members. Large CPA firms are well represented. In fact, CATA’s key spokesperson is Dr. Russ Roberts, a former partner at Deloitte, LLP.

So while CATA’s views are certainly worthy of consideration, they do not represent my clients or their needs. I therefore urge you to tread carefully when conducting your review.