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Emmanuelle Dubourg

Emmanuel Dubourg: MP and accounting ambassador

Emmanuel Dubourg is an inspiration to his students, the public and other accountants — both in Canada and abroad. Hear what the Canadian Ideal of Good Business means to him.

Although his resumé is studded with awards and distinctions, Emmanuel Dubourg does not seem interested in sitting back and basking in his accomplishments. Instead, the FCPA, FCA, federal MP and co-founder of CPAs Without Borders is quick to smile and talk about what seems to be the real driving force in his career: an abiding desire to help people. “Personally, I feel really comfortable helping people, teaching them, especially vulnerable people,” he says.

Dubourg had an early opportunity to fuse that community spirit with a keen interest in accounting and a love for teaching. After obtaining his CGA, CA and CMA designations — all in 1987 — the Haitian-born accountant began giving classes at Collège Montmorency in Laval, Que., and also joined Revenue Canada as a manager, a position he kept for 20 years. But, even though his job was to ensure people respected the act, he saw it as a way to help them — “to tell them how they can apply it.”

Teaching and learning in Mali

In 2000, Dubourg went to Mali for two years to train 150 auditors in the tax department. The experience left a lasting mark on him. “It’s so exciting when you see the realization dawn in your students’ eyes, when you see how much it means to them to have a good understanding of accounting, how useful it can be in their decision making. I am so grateful to be able to teach accounting,” he says.

The experience also helped Dubourg once he returned to Canada. “I gave classes at the Université du Québec à Montréal, and earned a performance award in 2006. I also started getting more involved in the profession and participated in the unification process,” he says. “I think it’s because of these kinds of activities that the Quebec Ordre awarded me the distinction of fellow in 2014,” he says.

Meanwhile, Dubourg also made the jump to politics, first at the provincial level, then as federal MP for the riding of Bourassa (2013 to present). “I’ve been through six elections now and I can say my constituents are happy with my work. Every day, I am thrilled to help them.”

CPAs without (and within) borders

In 2013, Dubourg co-founded CPAs Without Borders, an organization that sends CPAs and students to volunteer professional services to NGOs and organizations serving the poor, while supporting the development of local skills. Since it was founded in 2013, the organization has sent a total of 50 accountants on 17 volunteer missions. “We have a lot of accounting professionals who are waiting to do those kinds of trips,” he says.

Dubourg wants to keep expanding CPAs Without Borders. But he would also like to create a similar organization within Canada, where volunteer accountants would help community organizations with their accounting systems. “I think people will love that idea,” he says. “For me, that is the idea behind the Canadian ideal of good business — helping others and making our own personal contribution to our community.”

Watch the video to learn more about Emmanuel Dubourg’s accomplishments and how he defines the Canadian Ideal of Good Business.