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News in brief: Survey reveals Canadians hesitant to travel this year

CPA Canada’s annual summer spending study shows travel safety a concern; Pivot magazine wins top awards; and other news from the accounting profession

Woman looks through window thoughtfullyA full 30 per cent of respondents to CPA Canada’s 2021 Summer Spending Survey are not planning to take any vacation this summer (Getty Images/Ezra Bailey)


Vacation plans are up in the air for Canadians this summer, as CPA Canada’s annual Summer Spending Study revealed 79 per cent of respondents are concerned about how safe it is to travel. 

Survey responses show a cautious approach, with 30 per cent of Canadians not planning to take a vacation this summer, 15 per cent preparing to take vacations within the area where they live and only 22 per cent intending to vacation outside of that area. 

“A high proportion of Canadians are either not planning to take vacations or are holding off on their decision,” says Doretta Thompson, CPA Canada’s financial literacy leader. “Thirty per cent are not planning to take a vacation at all this summer. We asked a similar question in 2019 and, back then, only 18 per cent weren’t planning to take a vacation.”

More than half of Canadians anticipate their overall household spending will remain the same this summer as last year; however, 38 per cent expect it to increase. With travel a lower priority, Canadians are finding other ways to stay busy, with 34 per cent of respondents predicting they will spend more on renovations and property maintenance, while 22 per cent expect to spend more on entertainment than they did last summer.   

Overall, despite some shifts in Canadians’ spending plans for the summer, expenditure levels appear to be relatively on par with previous years, albeit targeted less on vacations than in the past.

For more insights from the CPA Canada 2021 Summer Spending Survey, read the full media release


Dr. Gervan Fearon, a CPA, has been named the new president of George Brown College, with the role beginning August 2021. 

A proven track record of collaboration, leadership skills and commitment to diversity and inclusion were among the key factors that led to Dr. Fearon’s appointment.

“I am passionate about education and the transformative opportunities it holds for individuals, communities and society,” said Dr. Fearon. “It is an honour to join George Brown, a college dedicated to student success and community development in the City of Toronto. I look forward to working with colleagues and partners to support the education and career goals of students and advance industry and community development.”

Dr. Fearon has a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Western Ontario and Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees from the University of Guelph. He is a CPA and holds an Institute of Corporate Directors designation (ICD.D).


CPA Canada’s flagship publication, Pivot, took home six gold medals at this year’s National Magazine Awards: B2B competition, including the coveted Best Magazine award. It also earned two silver medals. 

This is the third year in a row the publication has led the awards in terms of nominations, with 13 in total across the competition’s 11 categories.

“Since launching in 2018, the response to the magazine has been overwhelmingly positive,” said Heather Whyte, publisher of Pivot. “To receive the most nominations out of 57 publications is an impressive achievement; to do it three years running is truly phenomenal.”


  • Best column or regularly featured department Purpose Driver: The Giver
    ; Sweet Success; The Next Generation, by Rebecca Fleming, Melissa Buote, Jason Kirby
  • Best profile of a company 
    Magazine article. May contain sentences
    . by Shawn Micallef 
  • Best profile of a person
    , by Denis Trottier, Lara Zarum
  • Best photograph
    Mr. Clean
    , by Troy Moth
  • Best series of articles
    The Future of Work: Signed, Sealed, Delivered; No Fixed Address, Safe Spaces, by Jason McBride, Matt O’Grady, Adrienne Tanner



With economies digitizing, accountants must expand their approach to include structured and unstructured datasets to support insight-driven decisions. 

The Professional Accountant’s Role in Data, a joint publication released by CPA Canada and the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC), outlines a data management value chain and explores four key roles that professional accountants can fill: data engineer, data controller, data scientist and strategic adviser. 

“This is an urgent and opportune moment for the accountancy profession to leverage the disruption of the expanding digital economy, embrace enhanced roles in the data management value chain and guide businesses and organizations of all kinds into a sustainable and prosperous future,” said Stathis Gould, director of advocacy at IFAC.

The publication also includes three case studies and is available for free download. You can also join the discussion on digital transformation online and share what role you are playing in the process for your organization and how it aligns with the positions described for CPAs in the publication. 


CPA Canada’s Audit and Assurance Materiality Module won the 2021 Platinum Award from Hermes Creative Awards in the Electronic Media / Social Media / Interactive Media | Web Element | 117c. Web Based Training category.

The e-learning module, which launched in February this year, was created by the pre-certification education team in collaboration with Artha Learning to better meet the needs of CPA Canada’s diverse student population and to improve learning outcomes.

“This was our first time creating a branched e-learning module, so it’s really exciting to see the team’s efforts being validated right out of the gate,” said Jennifer Reed, senior principal with CPA Canada’s pre-certification education program. “This is also the first award of its kind for CPA Canada and speaks to what is possible for the future of e-learning.”

The Hermes Creative Awards is an international competition for creative professionals, which judges the industry’s best marketing, branding collateral, publications and more.


See more on Canadians’ spending plans for the summer and how to keep the fun alive during the season, while staying safe.