2021 Presentation Abstracts

Please note: all session times are EST

Report from the Auditor General of Canada
Karen Hogan, CPA, CA, Auditor General of Canada
09/28/2021 from 11:45 AM to 12:30 PM

Priority Based Budgeting to Achieve Growth Management Objectives
Julia Cziraky, Consultant, Hemson
Stefan Krzeczunowicz, Associate Partner, Hemson
09/28/2021 from 12:45 PM to 1:30 PM

With finite resources, many municipalities find balancing the demands of capital asset “state of good repair” objectives with the cost of more strategic objectives, including investing in growth-related infrastructure, a challenge. This session will build on Hemson and the City of Edmonton’s 2020 CAGFO session on Edmonton’s City Plan Relative Financial Assessment Study.
Following adoption of Edmonton’s bold and innovative City Plan, Hemson has been engaged to advise the City on how best to implement the plan, including input into a new Priority Based Budgeting framework to integrate growth management objectives with capital development planning. This session will address the key challenges faced by the City in making investment decisions to support growth management and will discuss municipal best practices, lessons learned, and the key steps towards implementing Priority Based Budgeting for growth management.

Understanding Unconscious Bias: Diversity and Inclusion at Work
Roy Johnson, The Neutral Zone Coaching and Consulting
09/28/2021 from 1:45 PM to 2:30 PM

Though most of us don’t see ourselves as racist, sexist or discriminatory, research and current media prove that we all have unconscious biases that affect our judgment and behaviours without our own awareness. This dynamic workshop gives participants an opportunity to examine implicit bias, to reflect on their own potential unconscious judgments and to apply skills for managing and overcoming unfair and unhelpful biases. Participants will leave this interactive and dynamic session with practical tools they can use right away for improved communication, decision-making and teamwork.

How to Reduce Risk, Rejuvenate Municipal Buildings, and Meet ESG Goals through Energy Management
Trina Innes, Executive Director of Sustainability Services, AUMA
Kyle Kasawski, Director, Client Development – Energy Management, AUMA
09/28/2021 from 1:45 PM to 2:30 PM

Presentation of Case Studies that show how capital investment lowers operational costs for municipalities.

Aging buildings and rising costs of energy create many challenges for municipalities. Many are taking a multi-pronged approach to rejuvenating aging municipal infrastructure, reducing risk, avoiding costs and achieving greenhouse gas reduction targets. The Alberta Urban Municipalities Association provides funding, programs, and services to help municipalities build internal capacity and achieve significant energy savings. After attending this session, you will understand more about AUMA’s Energy Management Program and Municipal Climate Change Action Centre, and how to position your organization on the path to savings.

Learning outcomes: Participants will learn about tools for developing and implementing energy conservation measures within municipalities. Examples will be provided that reveal how capital projects can be funded and financed to reduce operating expenses and greenhouse gas emissions.

PSAB Update
Michael Puskaric, Director, Public Sector Accounting Standards, Public Sector Accounting Board
09/29/2021 from 11:45 AM to 12:30 PM

Navigating Difficult Conversations… Counter-Intuitive Strategies for Dealing with Challenging Situations
Sue Wazny, MSc, Dip.Rc.Leadership, CCR, Director, Senior Consultant, The Neutral Zone Coaching and Consulting
09/29/2021 from 2:45 PM to 3:30 PM

You know those difficult, awkward conversations, where you needed to tell someone something they really didn’t want to hear? Or, those conversations where someone came at you and caught you off-guard? Or you had opposing opinions? We usually deal with these situations in one of two ways… Either we want to run away, or we come in guns-a-blazin’. Usually, neither of these choices works long term. There is a third, much more effective way. This presentation will give you completely counter-intuitive strategies for successfully managing difficult situations.

PSA Forum
Lorrie Schmalenberg, Manager, Public Accounting & Reporting, City of Regina
09/29/2021 from 3:45 PM to 4:30 PM

The PSA forum is an opportunity to discuss issues related to the Public Sector Accounting Standards that are either upcoming or out for comment. After the conference, attendees are invited to continue the dialogue during the CAGFO monthly forums on these or other topics of interest to members. Particular focus at this forum during the conference will be the Employee Benefits exposure draft and the draft Strategic Plan.

An Economic Outlook
Matthieu Arseneau, Deputy Chief Economist, Managing Director, Economy & Strategy Group, National Bank Financial Markets
09/30/2021 from 11:45 AM to 12:30 PM

Financial Modeling Best Practices – 10 tips to build a world-class model
Ian Schnoor, Principal and Founder, The Marquee Group
09/30/2021 from 12:45 PM to 2:15 PM

Financial Modeling is a discipline. A good model needs to tell a story and create confidence for the users and decision makers. Unfortunately, many financial models are a mess. Financial modelers are often self-taught and left to figure things out on their own, often wondering if “there’s a better way”.
In this live webinar, Ian Schnoor will review a better way. During the session, he will present and discuss some critical tools and skills required to build a best-in-class financial model that inspires confidence and leads to optimal decision making.

Transforming Public Procurement Post-COVID-19
Rachel Bleetman, Public Sector Research and Policy Manager, ACCA
09/30/2021 from 1:45 PM to 2:30 PM

The COVID-19 pandemic brought public procurement to the foreground of public scrutiny. Governments worldwide were forced to procure at speed and often without the necessary safeguards, resulting in large-scale purchasing lacking transparency, competitiveness and cost-efficiency.
As we look to the future and refocus – can public procurement help governments tackle the health and economic impacts of COVID -19, while also working towards broader social and environmental goals?
Join Rachel Bleetman, Public Sector Research and Policy Manager, ACCA, as she examines the lessons from the COVID-19 procurement crisis and provides actionable next steps and best practices to design transparent, fair, and efficient public procurement systems. Drawing on ACCA’s global research, key recommendations will be provided on the following issues:
• Eliminating bribery and corruption
• Improving the buyer-supplier relationship and promoting competition
• Modernizing and refocusing procurement to meet the challenges of a post- COVID-19 world
• Public procurement as a tool in the COVID-19 recovery
• Rachel will also explore how public procurement can also be used as a tool in achieving critical social and environmental goals, linked to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Costs are Up, Costs are Down, and COPE Data is Key: Managing Property Valuation and Data Issues in Today’s Economy
Anand Trivedi, ASA, MRICS, Director , Duff & Phelps, a Kroll company (Toronto)
09/30/2021 from 2:45 PM to 3:30 PM

• Property Valuation – Why?
• Initial Diagnostic Review of Property Values
• Property Valuation Benchmarking Resources and Cost Trends
• Trending Fixed Asset Records
• Valuation Solutions
• Insurance Appraisal Services – Buildings
• Insurance Appraisal Services – Contents / Personal Property
• In Addition to Insurance Appraisals (COPE data)
• Summary Points and Questions

Duty to Accommodate
Thomas V. Duke, Partner, Miller Thomson LLP
09/30/2021 from 2:45 PM to 3:30 PM

One of the most challenging tasks for employers in the modern workplace is the Duty to Accommodate. Employers both big and small are forced to deal with a variety of complex issues and obligations. This includes employees with permanent or temporary disabilities, as well as employees with family care needs. In many cases, the information provided by treating doctors leaves more questions than answers for employers who need to adequately staff their businesses. Tom Duke regularly advises employers on these issues. He will outline the obligations of the employer and how organizations can establish plans to obtain the information necessary to manage the employment relationship.

Work-Life Balance, Blend, or Blur: Using brain science to work smarter and thrive
Diana Vissers, BA, MA (Disability Management), CVRP(D), Founder Work to Wellness- Workplace Mental Health Consultant
09/30/2021 from 3:45 PM to 4:30 PM

Prior to the pandemic, the World Health Organization identified work related burnout to be an international problem. Between 2019 and 2021, there has been unprecedented change to how we work including a dramatic increase in video conferencing and the blurring of work/non work lives. This interactive presentation explores how our brains and bodies respond to these changes. Participants will apply the findings of three key research projects and learn to use brain science to work smarter. This workshop is designed to engage participants through active learning encouraging participation and questions.
What will you learn?
• Why work-life balance may not be possible
• Explore technology’s impact on your work-life balance
• Apply the neuro-science of stress to your situation through self-assessment of your current strategies
• How your communication platform and work-day structure impacts your brain health
• Learn more than 10 actions you can take to improve your work-life balance, avoid burnout, and thrive in today’s work context


Sustainable Funding Model Development & Optimal Asset Replacement
Jude Pillainayagam, MBA, P. Eng., MIAM, ISP City of Coquitlam
10/01/2021 from 12:00 PM to 12:45 PM

Sustainably funding asset replacements falls in the hands of accountants.  How to meet asset managers’ replacement demands with an affordable plan to finance is not easy unless planned well and with a long-term perspective.

The reality is very few municipalities have addressed this challenge as an effective long-term strategy.  The City of Coquitlam has received an award from UBCM for developing its Sustainable Financial Model. This presentation discusses the key features and elements of the model.

The presentation will also discuss:

  • The assumptions behind the model and why they are defendable;
  • How the model helps communicate to the Council the asset management long-term funding needs; and
  • How asset replacement demands are translated into the model


Asset Management Forum
Jude Pillainayagam, MBA, P. Eng., MIAM, ISP City of Coquitlam
10/01/2021 from 1:00 PM to 1:45 PM

This will be an asset management forum discussing the current status of asset management practices and the involvement of accountants in asset management.  Also to be discussed is the asset management training needs of accountants, the various training opportunities and funding available and their suitability.  A staff member from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) will join to present the available training opportunities through FCM programs which various FCM programs accountants can make use of to access grants in developing systems and tools.

Things That Go Bump in The Night: Major Issues and Future Challenges in Canadian Local Government
Todd Pugh, Executive Director, CivicInfo BC & Instructor, School of Public Administration, Capilano University
10/01/2021 from 1:00 PM to 1:45 PM

What keeps your CAO awake at night, in a way that five Red Bulls can’t match? What terrifies your local elected officials? And aside from a possible addiction to Tim Horton’s coffee, what do local government professionals have in common from coast to coast to coast? Todd Pugh has unique perspectives. Join him for an engaging session where we’ll explore the issues at the root of these questions and drawing from new research we’ll discuss the significant challenges our communities are likely to face in the coming years.