Every year the CPA Centre hosts an annual symposium. The purpose is to enable the convergence of scholars across disciplines for study and dialogue on the future state of the accounting profession.

2023 Symposium

The Role of Accounting in a Circular Economy

Friday, November 3, 2023
9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Brock University, St. Catharines, ON, Canada

Governments around the world, including the EU, the US, and Canada, have embraced the concept of circular economy. The concept of circular economy is a different way of doing business — to move from a linear (take, produce, dispose) to circular (reduce, reuse, recycle, refuse, repair) system.

This year, the CPA Ontario Centre for Public Policy and Innovation in Accounting is hosting its annual symposium on November 3, 2023. The theme for 2023 is “The Role of Accounting in a Circular Economy”. This full-day event brings together academics, business leaders, auditors, and policymakers to discuss cutting edge research, policy implications and the role of accounting in the path towards embracing circular economy. The audience will consist of academics, CPAs and students.

To learn more about the circular economy:

Register for the CPA Symposium

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Meet our Speakers

Ramsha Ahmed

Ramsha is an ESG Manager as part of KPMG’s Global Infrastructure Advisory team.  Ramsha has 9 years of experience working at the intersection of sustainability, climate change and policy. She has supported the development of ESG and sustainability strategies and programs to advance low-carbon economies by working with businesses, policy-makers, not-for-profit organizations, Indigenous communities and local communities. She has a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Sciences from McMaster University, a post-graduate certificate in Environmental Management and Assessment, and has recently achieved certification from the Global Association of Risk Professionals (GARP) in Sustainability and Climate Risk (SCR).” 

Mishka Balsom

Mishka Balsom is the CEO of the Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce (GNCC), responsible for developing and implementing initiatives that are designed to strengthen the business climate in Niagara and support the economic prosperity of the region. Under her leadership, the GNCC launched a number of new programs, collaborative partnerships not only within the region but throughout Ontario and NY State.   

Mishka has positioned the GNCC as one of the region’s most credible and visible voices of business. Determined and passionate, she is positively advancing change through collaboration, adaptability and sound decision-making. In an effort to support the growth of Niagara’s economy, Mishka is actively involved with a high number of community organizations within Niagara, other municipalities across Ontario and internationally, with organizations such as the Buffalo-Niagara Partnership and many more. She currently sits on the Niagara College Board of Governors, Brock U Goodman School Advisory Council and is Vice Chair to the Chamber Executives of Ontario. 

Prior to joining the GNCC, Mishka has successfully held senior management positions within the Canadian media industry as well as owned her own communication’s company. 

Leanne Keddie

Leanne Keddie is an Assistant Professor of Accounting at the Sprott School of Business at Carleton University in Ottawa, Ontario Canada. She earned her PhD in Accountancy from the John Molson School of Business at Concordia University in Montreal, QC. Her current research follows two key streams. In the first, she examines the use of environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance-based goals in executive bonus plans. Second, Dr. Keddie is leading an interdisciplinary team exploring Canada’s transition towards a circular economy; her role examines how food retailers are tackling the measurement, reduction and redirection of food waste. Broadly, her sustainability accounting research is of interest to a variety of stakeholders including management, shareholders, regulators, and standard setters as interest continues to grow in social and environmental matters. She believes in the power of accounting to move the world towards sustainability. Her work has received FRQSC and SSHRC funding and has been published in the British Journal of Management, Advances in Environmental Accounting & Management and Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal. Dr. Keddie is also a steering committee member for Accounting for Impact which seeks to broaden academic work to share our knowledge with general audiences. To this end, she has contributed her expertise to The Conversation, the Canadian Climate Institute, the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Energy Working Group, the development of continuing education modules for CPAs across Canada and writing standard setting response letters amongst other initiatives. Her work has been highlighted by various podcasts, Global News, CBC, and other mainstream media outlets. 

Sohyung Kim

Sohyung Kim is an Associate Professor of Accounting at Brock University. He earned his PhD in accounting from the University of British Columbia. His research primarily focuses on financial reporting and capital markets. Sohyung’s work delves into the intricate relationship between financial reporting, disclosures, and their influence on capital markets. He also explores how managers adapt to new accounting standards and regulations. His recent research project centers around assessing the effects of climate risk on managerial behavior. Sohyung’s research findings have been published in reputable journals including Accounting Horizon, European Accounting Review, Journal of Behavioral Finance, and Review of Accounting Studies. 

Cheol Lee

Cheol Lee is a Professor of the Department of Accounting at Wayne State University (Detroit, Michigan) where he currently serves as chair of the department. Dr. Lee earned his PhD in accounting from State of University of New York at Buffalo (SUNY at Buffalo). His research interest spans a wide range of topics, including financial accounting, corporate disclosure, corporate social responsibility, and information regulations. He has published articles in recognized international referred journals, including Accounting Horizon, European Accounting Review, Journal of Accounting and Public Policy, Journal of Business Ethics, and Journal of Accounting, Auditing & Finance. 

Mani Siddiqui

Paul Smith

With 28 years of experience, Paul Smith has been a dedicated force within Walker Industries, recently taking on the role of Vice President of Finance starting January 1, 2023. His collaborative approach and commitment to organizational goals shine through in his previous role as Director of Resource Recovery Operations, where he optimized divisions, secured approval for vital capital proposals, and led teams across 8 locations. Paul’s dedication extends to his tenure as General Manager of All Treat Farms Limited, where he worked as part of a team to unite sales forces and foster improved financial performance. His expertise in mergers & acquisitions, debt restructuring, budgeting, and financial analysis, combined with his deep understanding of operations, make him an invaluable asset in his new role, all while championing sustainability and the principles of the circular economy. 

Liette Vasseur

Dr. Vasseur is a full professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Brock University. She is a member of the Environmental Sustainability Research Centre and a CCOVI fellow. Since 2014, she holds the UNESCO Chair on Community Sustainability: From Local to Global. Her interdisciplinary research program links issues such as sustainable agriculture, climate change adaptation and resilience, community-based ecosystem management, and ecosystem governance. Her research is in Canada, China, Ecuador, and Africa. In Canada, major projects focus on sustainable agriculture and climate change adaptation in rural and coastal communities, and conservation in the Niagara Biosphere, a co-governed organization with Indigenous and non-indigenous people. She is the deputy chair of the Commission for Ecosystem Management at the International Union for Conservation of Nature (and co-lead of the Climate Change and Biodiversity Policy and Practice group), co-Editor-in-Chief of Botany at the Canadian Science Publishing, member of the executive board of Nature Canada, and former President of the Canadian Commission for UNESCO.  

Lord Mayor Zalepa

Gary Zalepa, Lord Mayor of Niagara-on-the-Lake, is a lifelong resident committed to enhancing the community’s well-being and building a bright and sustainable future.

With an impressive political career of over 15 years, Gary has demonstrated his dedication through his four successful terms in Municipal Council Elections. Presently, he holds the position of Lord Mayor for the Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake (2022-2026), Councillor for the Regional Municipality of Niagara (2022-2026), and Chair of Niagara Regional Housing.

Beyond his political engagements, Gary has an extensive three-decade background in real estate, currently holding the Senior Vice President of Network Development role at Century21 Canada.

Gary’s comprehensive experience in politics, volunteerism, and professional endeavours has led to a deep understanding and appreciation for Niagaraon-the-Lake’s distinct culture, historical significance, natural beauty, agriculture, and community. He is committed to serving his constituents and working alongside Town Council and Staff to guide Niagara-on-the-Lake toward a promising future.

Past Symposiums

2022 Symposium

Extractive Sector Transparency Measures Act (ESTMA)

The CPA Centre for Public Policy and Innovation in Accounting at the Goodman school of Business was pleased to host a symposium in conjunction with Natural Resources Canada’s (NRCan) on the Extractive Sector Transparency Measures Act (ESTMA). This event was held in a hybrid format, online and in person at Goodman School of Business Atrium at Brock University. The free symposium featured speakers from NRCan, CPA Ontario and PWC as well as industry partners.

Guest Speakers:

  • Mr. Ross Gallinger, President, RG Consulting
  • Mr. Jason Manikkam, Deputy Director, Extractive Sector Transparency Office, Natural Resources Canada, Government of Canada
  • Emily Nickerson, Team Lead / Policy, Strategy and Partnerships, Extractive Sector Transparency Office, Natural Resources Canada, Government of Canada
  • Jacques Radder, Director, Accounting Advisory Services, PwC Management Services LP
  • Dr. Galit A. Sarfaty, Canada Research Chair in Global Economic Governance, Associate Professor | Allard School of Law, The University of British Columbia
  • Dr. Charles Cho, Professor/Erivan K. Haub Chair, Schulich School of Business, York University
  • Mr. Daniel Mule, Policy Lead, Extractive Industries Tax and Transparency, Oxfam America
Photo from the CPA Symposium in the Goodman atrium
Photo from the CPA Symposium in the Goodman atrium
Photo from the CPA Symposium in the Goodman atrium
Photo from the CPA Symposium of people networking in the Goodman atrium
Photo from the CPA Symposium in the Goodman atrium
Photo from the CPA Symposium of people networking in the Goodman atrium

2020 Symposium

The Future of Accounting

Accounting finds itself at a critical juncture as innovative technology, analytics, and social issues are poised to reshape the industry. The symposium discussed the future of Accounting given these emerging issues.

Guest Speakers:

  • Dr. Dan Simunic, Simon Fraser University
  • Ms. Gigi Dawe, Director, Corporate Oversight and Governance, CPA Ontario
  • Mr. Gus Leite, Partner, Digital Assurance Upskilling Leader, PwC Canada
  • Dr. Louise Hays, University of Guelph
  • Ms. Irene M. Wiecek, University of Toronto
  • Mr. Ryan Kagan, Managing Partner, Ryan Kagan Accounting & Advisory, Inc
  • Mr. Manav Kapoor, Office of the Auditor General of Canada
  • Ms. Lucky Ma, Director, Funding Planning Team, CIBC

2018 Symposium

Extractive Sector Transparency Measures Act (ESTMA)

Topics Covered:

  • The Extractive Sector Transparency Measures Act (ESTMA) brought into force June 1, 2015 mandates Canadian extractive sector companies to report any monies paid to government that could be construed as bribery.
  • ESTMA and Accounting Disclosures
  • ESTMA – The Auditor Perspective”
  • ESTMA from a global perspective and other key issues pertinent to both industry professionals and academics.

Guest Speakers:

  • Dr. Gordon RichardsonUniversity of Toronto
  • Emily Nickerson, Director, Publish What You Pay Canada
  • Tim McGuire, Global Account Director, Mining & Metals, Export Development Canada
  • Victoria Vargas de Szarzynski, President, Strat-Advice; Brian Penny, Corporate Director
  • David Whiteley, Partner, Capital Markets Accounting Advisory Services; PwC Management Services LP