CGA Chair says to be prepared

Celebrating 60 years of service in B.C., Certified General Accountants Association Chair Bruce Hurst was in Smithers recently as he toured the province to meet the more rural communities his association serves.

Celebrating 60 years of service in B.C., Certified General Accountants Association Chair Bruce Hurst was in Smithers recently as he toured the province to meet the more rural communities his association serves.

“It’s to get a sense of the pulse of business elsewhere in the province, because it’s not all about the Lower Mainland,” Hurst said.

Feedback from the tour will be brought back to the lower mainland, where they do meet with politicians over their recommendations.

Certainly, the biggest issue that he’s been hearing has been the HST. The CGA, who deals with many of the smaller to medium sized businesses, has seen the impact the HST has brought. The PST grew to be an inefficient system that business owners had troubles understanding, Hurst said. The HST on the other hand is understandable, he said.

A few of those businesses they serve have come back with $10,000 of recoverable taxation that they’ve been able to use to invest in the company.

“I just hope there’s enough time for all the political rhetoric to die down … so they can make an informed decision,” Hurst said of the referendum.

Hurst met at a Smithers and District Chamber of Commerce luncheon to discuss the economy of Canada in the global marketplace.

It wasn’t a rosy picture he was painting. This, he said, has been one of the most turbulent periods in the global economic history since the 1920s.

“We need not look far afield to see a host of challenges all around us stemming from this latest crisis,” Hurst said.

Look at the world-leading financial institutions, once know to wield greater wealth than many nations, many now lie decimated, he said, if not gone altogether. Debt levels are high around the world, leaving nations unable to meet the needs of their citizens.

“Right now, the global economy can still be best described as fragile,” he said.

Canada, he aded, has fared better than most. We still have our financial institutions, we have the lowest unemployment of the G-7 and the lowest per capita debt.

“We need bold, creative strategies and policies to ensure that we do not experience a repeat of the current crisis,” he said. “More important, we have to be prepared for the next great crisis.”