Connect with us

Anglais

Province’s chief accountant quit after refusing to sign off on Fedeli’s $15 billion deficit figure

Published

on

[ad_1]

The Ontario government’s chief accountant resigned earlier this fall because she refused to sign off on Finance Minister Vic Fedeli’s inflated $15 billion deficit, the Star has learned.

Cindy Veinot, the provincial controller, quit in September because she “did not agree with accounting decisions made by the current government.”

“I believe that the consolidated financial statements of the province of Ontario as issued … materially overstate the deficit of the province for the year,” she said in a submission to the legislative “transparency” committee examining the province’s books.

Veinot, a civil servant, has declined to speak publicly, but the Star obtained her 12-page summary that was sent to the standing committee on Tuesday.

That committee, which is dominated by Progressive Conservative MPPs, has repeatedly blocked efforts by NDP MPPs on the panel to call Veinot as a witness.

Her searing unsolicited report to the committee appears to underscore their caution.

The controversy centres mostly around whether $11 billion of government money in the co-sponsored Ontario Public Service Employees’ Union Pension Plan and the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan can be counted as a government asset on the books.

Veinot, a leading expert on pension accounting who finished first among 63,000 candidates in the 1998 certified public accountants exam in the U.S., contends the holdings are an asset.

Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk — and her predecessors — used to count them as such. However, Lysyk changed her tune in 2015 and no longer does.

In contrast to the previous Liberal government, the new Progressive Conservative administration sided with the auditor general over the provincial controller.

Subscribe to the Star to support political reporting and analysis from our award-winning journalists at Queen’s Park

That decision has ballooned the deficit by about $5 billion so it now sits at $14.5 billion.

“At this point, we consider it resolved. We’re very happy with the accounting decisions,” Lysyk said Wednesday after tabling her annual report to the legislature.

Still, tensions between the two high-ranking number crunchers linger.

Veinot maintains Lysyk resorted to “personal attacks, disparaging comments about the professional services firm at which I was a partner (Deloitte), and threats” at a meeting on Sept. 27, 2016.

“What I witnessed in that meeting and subsequently documented the next day was but an introduction to what I would witness during the two years I worked for the OPS (Ontario public service),” she wrote.

Asked specifically about Veinot’s allegations, Lysyk was reluctant to discuss relations with the former controller.

“You know, I prefer not to,” the auditor general said.

“This is not a personal thing … this is the province’s financial statements,” she said, emphasizing their accounting disagreements over the pension assets and the Liberals’ “fair hydro plan” electricity subsidies.

When asked about Veinot’s sudden departure, Treasury Board President Peter Bethlenfalvy said he “can’t comment on the person involved.

“I’m not going to comment on the comings and goings of people within government,” said Bethlenfalvy.

Fedeli, for his part, denied that he has artificially inflated the deficit, pointing to the independent commission, led by former B.C. Liberal premier Gordon Campbell, the Tories struck to examine the books.

“I can tell you that the auditor general supplied information for the independent commission and that $5 billion we accept that decision,” the finance minister said, noting the auditor general signed off on the books for the first time in three years even though the controller refused to do so.

But Fedeli declined to weigh in on Veinot’s departure.

NDP Leader Andrea Horwath said it’s curious that the Tory MPPs on the legislative committee have derailed New Democratic attempts to get her at committee.

“I would suspect that they would have some concerns about what she might say,” said Horwath.

Interim Liberal leader John Fraser said it is significant that a provincial controller has not signed off on the province’s public accounts for the first time ever.

“For her not to appear before the committee means the government is hiding something.”

Robert Benzie is the Star’s Queen’s Park bureau chief and a reporter covering Ontario politics. Follow him on Twitter: @robertbenzie

[ad_2]

Source link

قالب وردپرس

Anglais

‘Business as usual’ for Dorel Industries after terminating go-private deal

Published

on

By

MONTREAL — Dorel Industries Inc. says it will continue to pursue its business strategy going forward after terminating an agreement to go private after discussions with shareholders.

« Moving ahead. Business as usual, » a spokesman for the company said in an email on Monday.

A group led by Cerberus Capital Management had previously agreed to buy outstanding shares of Dorel for $16 apiece, except for shares owned by the family that controls the company’s multiple-voting shares.

But Dorel chief executive Martin Schwartz said the Montreal-based maker of car seats, strollers, bicycles and home furniture pulled the plug on a deal on the eve of Tuesday’s special meeting after reviewing votes from shareholders.

“Independent shareholders have clearly expressed their confidence in Dorel’s future and the greater potential for Dorel as a public entity, » he said in a news release.

Dorel’s board of directors, with Martin Schwartz, Alan Schwartz, Jeffrey Schwartz and Jeff Segel recused, unanimously approved the deal’s termination upon the recommendation of a special committee.

The transaction required approval by two-thirds of the votes cast, and more than 50 per cent of the votes cast by non-family shareholders.

Schwartz said enhancing shareholder value remains a top priority while it stays focused on growing its brands, which include Schwinn and Mongoose bikes, Safety 1st-brand car seats and DHP Furniture.

Dorel said the move to end the go-private deal was mutual, despite the funds’ increased purchase price offer earlier this year.

It said there is no break fee applicable in this case.

Montreal-based investment firm Letko, Brosseau & Associates Inc. and San Diego’s Brandes Investment Partners LP, which together control more than 19 per cent of Dorel’s outstanding class B subordinate shares voiced their opposition to the amended offer, which was increased from the initial Nov. 2 offer of $14.50 per share.

« We believe that several minority shareholders shared our opinion, » said Letko vice-president Stephane Lebrun, during a phone interview.

« We are confident of the long-term potential of the company and we have confidence in the managers in place.”

Continue Reading

Anglais

Pandemic funds helping Montreal businesses build for a better tomorrow

Published

on

By

Many entrepreneurs have had to tap into government loans during the pandemic, at first just to survive, but now some are using the money to better prepare their businesses for the post-COVID future.

One of those businesses is Del Friscos, a popular family restaurant in Dollard-des-Ormeaux that, like many Montreal-area restaurants, has had to adapt from a sit-down establishment to one that takes orders online for takeout or delivery.

“It was hard going from totally in-house seating,” said Del Friscos co-owner Terry Konstas. “We didn’t have an in-house delivery system, which we quickly added. There were so many of our employees that were laid off that wanted to work so we adapted to a delivery system and added platforms like Uber and DoorDash.”

Helping them through the transition were emergency grants and low-interest loans from the federal and provincial governments, some of which are directly administered by PME MTL, a non-profit business-development organization established to assist the island’s small and medium-sized businesses.

Konstas said he had never even heard of PME MTL until a customer told him about them and when he got in touch, he discovered there were many government programs available to help his business get through the downturn and build for the future. “They’ve been very helpful right from day one,” said Konstas.

“We used some of the funds to catch up on our suppliers and our rents, the part that wasn’t covered from the federal side, and we used some of it for our new virtual concepts,” he said, referring to a virtual kitchen model which the restaurant has since adopted.

The virtual kitchen lets them create completely different menu items from the casual American Italian dishes that Del Friscos is known for and market them under different restaurant brand names. Under the Prasinó Soup & Salad banner, they sell healthy Greek options and their Stallone’s Sub Shop brand offers hearty sandwiches, yet the food from both is created in the same Del Friscos kitchen.

Continue Reading

Anglais

Downtown Montreal office, retail vacancies continue to rise

Published

on

By

Some of downtown Montreal’s key economic indicators are heading in the wrong direction.

Office and retail vacancies in the city’s central core continued to climb in the fourth quarter of 2020, according to a quarterly report released Thursday by the Urban Development Institute of Quebec and the Montréal Centre-Ville merchants association. The report, whose first edition was published in October, aims to paint a socio-economic picture of the downtown area.

The survey also found office space available for sublet had increased during the fourth quarter, which may foreshadow even more vacancies when leases expire. On the residential front, condo sales fell as new listings soared — a sign that the downtown area may be losing some of its appeal to homeowners.

“It’s impossible not to be preoccupied by the rapid increase in office vacancies,” Jean-Marc Fournier, the former Quebec politician who now heads the UDI, said Thursday in an interview.

Still, with COVID-19 vaccinations set to accelerate in the coming months, “the economic picture is bound to improve,” he said. “People will start returning downtown. It’s much too early to say the office market is going to disappear.”

Public health measures implemented since the start of the pandemic almost a year ago — such as caps on office capacity — have deprived downtown Montreal of more than 500,000 workers and students. A mere 4,163 university and CEGEP students attended in-person classes in the second quarter, the most recent period for which figures are available. Border closures and travel restrictions have also brought tourism to a standstill, hurting hotels and thousands of local businesses.

Seventy per cent of downtown workers carried out their professional activities at home more than three days a week during the fourth quarter, the report said, citing an online survey of 1,000 Montreal-area residents conducted last month.

Continue Reading

Chat

Sex2 semaines ago

Dix films avec des scènes de sexe non simulées qui ont fait polémique

Sex2 semaines ago

Sexe et cannabis : mélange miraculeux ou poison pour le couple ?

Sex2 semaines ago

Chantage émotionnel, dénigrement, harcèlement sexuel : Une jeune scientifique écrit aux comités nationaux d’éthique

Sex2 semaines ago

10 films sur le sexe et le plaisir pour oublier la distanciation sociale

Sex2 semaines ago

Les meilleurs sextoys pour le clitoris

Sex2 semaines ago

Dua Lipa, la reine du melting-pop qui allège le quotidien confiné de ses millions de fans

Sex2 semaines ago

Une série d’ici primée à l’étrange

Technologie4 semaines ago

TELUS adopte une nouvelle promesse de marque

Technologie4 semaines ago

La tech agricole Farmers Edge entre en Bourse à 18 fois ses revenus

Technologie4 semaines ago

NEC Canada accueille Combat Networks en tant que revendeur officiel de UNIVERGE® BLUE CLOUD SERVICES

Technologie4 semaines ago

La relance économique sera verte dans le Bas-Saint-Laurent

Technologie4 semaines ago

Ottawa injecte 2,75 milliards $ pour électrifier la flotte d’autobus au pays

Technologie4 semaines ago

L’entreprise montréalaise Native Touch fait l’acquisition du studio Candy Banners

Actualités4 semaines ago

Lionbridge conclut la vente de sa division d’intelligence artificielle (IA) à TELUS International

Actualités4 semaines ago

Le rôle stratégique et essentiel des métaux rares pour la santé

Actualités4 semaines ago

«Crypto-art» : l’œuvre numérique de la chanteuse Grimes vendue 6 millions de dollars

Actualités4 semaines ago

Un rapport révèle des inégalités pour les femmes de couleur dans les postes de direction canadiens qui font écho au secteur de la technologie

Actualités4 semaines ago

La demande de main-d’œuvre des startups canadiennes montre des signes de reprise au quatrième trimestre: rapport

Actualités4 semaines ago

En attendant la fibre optique

Affaires4 semaines ago

L’Alberta demande à Ottawa d’investir des milliards dans la capture du carbone

Anglais2 années ago

Body found after downtown Lethbridge apartment building fire, police investigating – Lethbridge

Styles De Vie2 années ago

Salon du chocolat 2018: les 5 temps forts

Anglais2 années ago

This B.C. woman’s recipe is one of the most popular of all time — and the story behind it is bananas

Santé Et Nutrition2 années ago

Gluten-Free Muffins

Anglais2 années ago

27 CP Rail cars derail near Lake Louise, Alta.

Anglais2 années ago

Man facing eviction from family home on Toronto Islands gets reprieve — for now

Santé Et Nutrition2 années ago

We Try Kin Euphorics and How to REALLY Get the Glow | Healthyish

Anglais2 années ago

Ontario’s Tories hope Ryan Gosling video will keep supporters from breaking up with the party

Anglais2 années ago

A photo taken on Toronto’s Corso Italia 49 years ago became a family legend. No one saw it — until now

Anglais3 années ago

Condo developer Thomas Liu — who collected millions but hasn’t built anything — loses court fight with Town of Ajax

Styles De Vie3 années ago

Renaud Capuçon, rédacteur en chef du Figaroscope

Anglais2 années ago

This couple shares a 335-square-foot micro condo on Queen St. — and loves it

Mode2 années ago

Paris : chez Cécile Roederer co-fondatrice de Smallable

Anglais2 années ago

Ontario Tories argue Trudeau’s carbon plan is ‘unconstitutional’

Styles De Vie2 années ago

Ford Ranger Raptor, le pick-up roule des mécaniques

Affaires2 années ago

Le Forex devient de plus en plus accessible aux débutants

Anglais2 années ago

100 years later, Montreal’s Black Watch regiment returns to Wallers, France

Technologie2 années ago

YouTube recommande de la pornographie juvénile, allègue un internaute

Anglais2 années ago

Trudeau government would reject Jason Kenney, taxpayers group in carbon tax court fight

Anglais2 années ago

Province’s push for private funding, additional stops puts Scarborough subway at risk of delays

Trending