Public sector conference 2019

If you’re a senior financial professional in the public sector or work for a not-for-profit that follows PSAB standards, this annual event in the nation’s capital is the place to be.

Event Details

Location and date:
Ottawa October 28-29, 2019

The role of public sector financial professionals is continuously evolving. At this year’s conference, you will have the opportunity to upgrade your skills and enhance the value you bring to work with a variety of innovative sessions, captivating keynote speakers and thought-provoking panels.

With the theme of Lead.Connect.Innovate., this year's conference agenda promises cutting edge ideas, best practices and thought leadership, along with the regular technical and regulatory updates. Our featured keynote speakers this year include:

Connect with peers and hear about some of the top challenges facing today’s public sector finance professionals from every level of government. Stay up-to-date on emerging professional trends as you explore the leadership and accounting topics that matter most to you.

Optional post-conference workshops on October 30, 2019:

The first of three optional post-conference workshops is now available for registration.

  • Enhancing Public Sector Program and Service Delivery through Improved Operational Costing, October 30, 8:30am – 12pm

Workshop fee: $395 plus applicable taxes. Conference attendance is not required to register for the workshop.

Please note that post-conference workshops will not be live-streamed.

View the agenda

Special offers/promotions

Group discounts (virtual only) available. Please contact our customer service team to book groups. This discount cannot be combined with other offers.

Additional options and pricing may be available. See pricing and registration for more details.

In-person $1,095; Virtual $895; Post-conference Workshop $395

17 CPD hour(s)
Pricing & registration

Topics include:

  • important PSAB updates
  • innovative best practices
  • ethics and AI
  • government financial management and reporting
  • technology trends for the public sector
  • leadership development

Virtual conference option

Can’t make it to Ottawa? Attend virtually. Listen to speakers and see the conference, follow PowerPoint presentations and ask questions live in real time. All you need is a desktop computer, laptop or tablet plus speakers and high-speed internet.

Who should attend?

  • senior financial professionals with controller, treasury or budget functions
  • public accountants, auditors and other professionals
  • financial analysts and other financial statement users

More Details:

Session Descriptions

Opening Keynote: Heath Slawner

Heath Slawner

Address by the Comptroller General of Canada

Roch Huppé

Building Infrastructure to Meet Canada’s Needs: The Past, Present, and Possible Future of Public Private Partnerships in Canada
Speaker: Nicholas Hann, Head of Investments, Canada Infrastructure Bank

Investment in infrastructure investing is a great interest to all levels of government and the public. This session will explore the evolution of the infrastructure construction and deployment across Canada and lessons learned from other countries.
Join Nick Hann, Head of Investments at Canada Infrastructure Bank, to learn about key policy instrument all governments and stakeholders are considering in their strategy to build and deploy Canadian infrastructure to meet the needs of Canada and enable greater economic prosperity.

IPSASB and PSAB Strategic Update

First Nations

Asset Retirement Obligations - Implementation

Choose one of the following sessions:

Innovative ways to Deploy Programs

Emerging issues in accounting
Speaker: Martin Boucher, Partner, National Accounting Consulting Services, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP

We often focus on the new accounting standards. And yet the public sector’s increasingly complex environment results in questions over accounting standards that have been applied for years. This session will cover new twists on long-standing accounting standards such as cloud computing arrangements, investments in green infrastructure, contingent liabilities in a context of more frequent settlements as well as accounting for participation in a shared asset. While this session will not give you all the answers, the objective is to raise awareness over application challenges of fundamental questions as applied to these emerging issues: Is there an asset? Is there a liability? Is there a need for a new accounting policy altogether?

Martin Boucher, CPA, CA

Ethics: Building trust in Artificial Intelligence
Speaker: Cathy Cobey, Global Trusted AI Advisory Leader, Ernst & Young LLP

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is predicted to drive 95% of all customer interactions by 2025 but a lack of trust is the #1 barrier to its development. Without mature risk awareness that encompasses broader ethical and social considerations, AI capabilities will be slow to evolve. Join Cathy Cobey, EY’s Global Trusted AI Advisory Leader in a session to explore what your organization can do to gain trust in AI, including techniques to evaluate the maturity of your AI governance and ethical practices, measure the risk of an AI agent and build the control mechanisms to build and operate trustworthy AI.

Cathy Cobey

Pension Plans

Next generation CPA
Jennifer Gerves-Keen, Executive Coach
Alan Kerr, VP Corporate Services and CFO, Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency

Jennifer Gervès-Keen

IFRS Update

Keynote Address; Max Valiquette

Max Valiquette

ACCA Paper

A Risk Management Approach to Cyber Security
Richard Leest, Director of Information Technology Services, York Region
Jason Li, Director, Controllership Office and Deputy Treasurer at York Region

PSAB Updates

AI, Cloud, Robotics, Data Analytics

Natural asset management and Canada’s accounting framework: the emerging evidence
Roy Brooke, Executive Director, Municipal Natural Resources Initiative
Michelle Molnar, Environmental, Economist & Policy Analyst, David Suzuki Foundation

Using Cross-Functional Collaboration as an Innovative Resource
Speaker: Jennifer Gervés-Keen, Master Corporate Executive Coach, JGK Consulting (Sandra)
Cross-functional collaboration is a key element in strengthening organizations from the inside out, as well as being a catalyst for innovation and connection across (often) siloed departments and functions. Join Master Corporate Executive Coach Jennifer Gervés-Keen as she walks you through the value of and framework of peer learning triads and teaming agreements and how they can add agility and creativity to your workforce. Jennifer will share real-life examples of organizational impact; concrete tools and frameworks on how to set these structures up within your own organization will be provided

Jennifer Gervès-Keen

A real-world example of how blockchain can modernize public sector financial management: Lessons from the City of Toronto
Heather Taylor , CFO, City of Toronto
Mark MacDonald, Partner, Ernst & Young LLP
Abhishek Sinha, Partner, Ernst & Young LLP

Join us for a discussion highlighting the modernization and transformation efforts taking place at the City of Toronto around budget process modernization through blockchain technology. In this session, you will learn through first-hand experience how the power of new technology can help overcome long-standing challenges to efficient management. Participants will leave the session with a better understanding of how emerging technologies have been used to enable financial transformation in real-life situations.

Mark MacDonald ; Abhishek Sinha

Risk assessments

Post Conference Workshop # 1: Enhancing Public Sector Program and Service Delivery through Improved Operational Costing
Public sector organizations are continually challenged in understanding the true costs of their operations in support of the programs and services they provide to Canadians. In addition, continual changes to funding and/or cost recovery formulae as well as ever-increasing resource constraints, make it difficult to maintain effective costing models for both current and forecast service delivery.
Using a case study, this workshop walks you through a structured multi-step approach to implementing improved operational costing in your organization. The concepts that you will learn are based on the Consortium for Advanced Management – International’s (CAM-I) “Closed Loop” methodology which supports an integrated resource management approach to developing predictive business models. Key to this approach is understanding and improving operational business processes, increasing efficiencies and, as a result, optimizing resources, while retaining the quality of an organization’s programs and services.
Key Learning Objectives:
• Appreciate the benefits of a structured methodology for implementing better costing across the organization
• Develop “hands-on” experience in understanding resource management and operational costing
• Gain insights into developing realistic service fees and/or other cost recovery strategies
• Understand the value of collaborative scenario-playing with operational cost models that support “future state” business processes

Mike Haley

Thank you to our 2019 advisory committee members
Sandra Anselmo, Principal Professional Programs (Public Sector), CPA Canada
Jane Borland, Director, Financial Management, Provincial Comptroller’s Office, Saskatchewan Finance
Sonia Brennan, Deputy Auditor General, City of Ottawa
Matthew Coley, Partner, Deloitte LLP
Suzanne Gignac, Partner, Ernst and Young LLP
Michael Lionais, Executive Director, Costing and Transfer Payments, Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat
Diane Peressini, Executive Director, Government Accounting Policy & Reporting from the Office of the Comptroller General
Michael Puskaric, Director, Public Sector Accounting, CPA Canada
Claude Rochette, Assistant Deputy Minister (Finance) / Chief Financial Officer, Department of National Defence
Charles-Antoine St-Jean, Chair, Public Sector Accounting Board
Juliet Woodfield, VP Finance &HR and CFO, Defence Construction Canada
Sandra Anselmo ; Jane Borland ; Sonia Brennan ; Matt Coley ; Suzanne Gignac ; Michael Lionais, CPA, CMA ; Diane Peressini, CPA, CA ; Michael Puskaric, MBA, CPA, CMA ; Claude Rochette ; Charles-Antoine St-Jean ; Juliet Woodfield, CPA, CA

Venue[s] and Accommodation[s]


Shaw Centre
55 Colonel By Drive, Ottawa, ON K1N 9J2
t.:613-563-1984 or 1-800-450-0077


The Novotel Hotel
33 Nicholas Street, Ottawa, ON K1N 9M7

Frequently asked questions:

What equipment do I need to join the virtual conference? For a smooth virtual conference experience, ensure that you have:

  • the most current operating system and browser on the device you will use to connect to the virtual conference platform
  • access to high speed/broadband Internet; if you are not on high-speed Internet, your video may become patchy at times
  • speakers/headphones to hear the conference speakers, and keyboard to submit any questions to the speakers.

Booking accommodations at the Novotel:

A block of guestrooms has been reserved at the Novotel Ottawa Hotel at a guaranteed rate of $189 plus applicable taxes. This rate is available until October 7, 2019, or until our room block is filled.

Contact the hotel to book (refer to CPA Canada's Public Sector Conference to get the conference rate), or reserve your room online.

The Novotel Ottawa Hotel
33 Nicholas Street, Ottawa, ON
t. 613-230-3033

Note, the hotel has a 72-hour cancellation policy, should you wish to cancel your reservation.


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Please contact:

Member Development and Support
Tel: 1-800-268-3793