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As I prepare to put a very busy 2015 to bed, I find myself particularly reflective as I take stock of all that we’ve accomplished together in the past 12 months.
Our community began 2015 under a cloud of uncertainty. We knew we had opportunities to leverage our relationships and emerge as a trusted voice on important policy issues but we also faced an unprecedented threat in collective bargaining – a government willing to circumvent the bargaining process to achieve its goals.
Through it all, the resolve and dedication of the FI Community inspired us to carry forward. We hosted colleagues from around the world to talk about important long-term policy objectives during our Funding Democracy Summit but we also protected the interests of the community in the short term by refusing to accept terms dictated to us by the employer at the table.
We spearheaded a complaint to the ILO. We co-sponsored a constitutional challenge. And when the government of the day accused us of undermining talks, we spoke up, corrected facts and defended the integrity of the FI Community.
As we flip the calendar to 2016, I find myself cautiously optimistic about what lies ahead. The landscape in which we operate has changed, to be sure, but more than that, the reputation of the FI Community has changed too. We’ve always been seen as a professional group. A reliable group. Over the past 12 months, though, we’ve become something more.
I’ve had the opportunity to talk to several CFOs and senior financial leaders over the past few weeks and each of them has commented on the confidence and swagger they see from their FIs. They look at us and see a group that is sure of itself, of its value and of the role they play in serving Canadians.
This, my friends, is perhaps the greatest gift you could’ve given to all of us at ACFO. We’ve always been proud to serve the FI Community. To see that same pride so unabashedly reflected in the group, though, really makes my year.
So once again, thank you for the opportunity to serve as your president. Whether you choose to surround yourself with family and friends or spend the holidays enjoying some quiet solitude, I hope this season brings you all the very best.
Happy holidays to you and yours.
Milt Isaacs, CPA, CMA, CPFA
President, Association of Canadian Financial Officers