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CMA - 1 - 2022 - Annual Report and Details

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As you know there are lots of interesting things going on at the CMA. I was trying to prepare myself for the AGM.

The CMA annual report 2022 appears to be Interesting that it appears to be only in an online webpage (at least for citizens like us). So the presentation isn't permanent - could be modified anytime if that suited a political agenda. Interesting that there is no reference to or recording of the abortive 2021 AGM.

Interesting that they make a comment,

"We took steps to promote equity, diversity and inclusion in medical leadership, encouraging members of traditionally under-represented groups to apply for our presidency, board and committees, connecting with physicians and medical learners on how to further eliminate structural barriers, and seizing opportunities such as..."

without reference to the abortive AGM and how members slapped the hands of the board for attempting to slip changes through under the guise of EDI.

That's not the worst of it. Where are the minutes of the meeting? The recordings of the zoom? Aren't members - responsible members - able to view any of the doings of the association?

The AGM minutes have just been posted.  They can be found here:  Just interesting that they are dated June 2022 - not very contemporaneously prepared.  They are pretty brief - inadequately so in my mind - you won't know what transpired at the AGM from these.  The CMA does not present the official record Minutes to anyone for review and a vote to accept.   Just noting this.  Some might say this allows errors and biases to creep in....

Looking a bit further I found...

The financial statements are found here:

The text calls it the "Full Financial Report" Now, financial reports are not my strong point but it seems to me that the CMA has moved all or most of it's financial stuff into an entity called CMAH2018. This is likely CMA Holdings or something like that, a subsidiary of the CMA. This is worth about 1/2 page in the financial report, without any significant detail. It has essentially all of the wealth and the business of the CMA and seems to me to be completely hidden.

In the "Assets" section of the formal Statement, there is a line:

Promissory note due from related party
(2021) 2,577,920
(2020) 2,607,920 (in thousands).

I'm guessing that this is the billions from the sale of the MDM.

The document is a bit weird - at least to me - in the way it is presented. As I've seen elsewhere the statement presented as tables are tidied up by compressing the figures to "[in thousands of dollars]" I'm ok with that. But the compression appears to be used elsewhere, in textual comments, that make the document hard to read, eg

"On Sept 20 2021 the land located at 1867 Alta Vista, Ottawa, was sold for $5,778, net of adjustments, and a gain on disposal of $5,064 was recognized..."

Really? They sold land in Ottawa for $5,000? Or does that mean "$5 million"? Presumably the latter. But do accountants really think that way and does anyone else? Ok, I'm being picayune.

(Interesting that the document security setting does not allow me to copy and paste that information. I have to copy it by hand. Which anyone can do.... Or I could just print it and scan it and OCR and copy/paste. But whatever)

The report of the Finance Committee will include a vote to appoint auditors - in this case re-appoint.  This is usually a pro-forma event.  I rather think that I might vote against that motion - not because I know much about auditors except that I know that every big accounting/auditing firm has been accused of malfeasance at one time or another, so probably the best philosophy is to vote for a firm that will give the most cost-effect service - but because these financial statements are so brief that Members cannot understand from them what the finances of the CMA actually are.




Further concerning because there is no single pdf file

Your concerns about the format of the CMA Annual Report are further concerning because there is no single consolidated pdf file and the web format itself includes numerous links to other pages, some of which are news releases, etc. There is no assurance to anyone that they have leafed through the information provided and can identify pertinent inclusions and omissions.

The Consolidated Financial Statements do include a note in the top right corner of each page that says "[in thousands of dollars]" but it is difficult to understand when it is in narrative form in paragraphs. I'm not sure if this is an accounting trend. While management is responsible for preparing the report, the auditors as the "experts" have not commented on the practice.

In terms of difficulties copying and pasting, I am wondering if you are referring to the Consolidated Financial Statements or something else? The Financial Statements are a pdf that can be downloaded and I have no difficulty copying and pasting from the Firefox browser view.

In reference to the Promissory Note (9. Promissory note due from related party)
it is interesting to note that it is non-interest bearing on an amount of $2.7 billion (possibly higher when first issued in 2018) and shows the amount diminishing by payments in 2020 and 2021. So presumably, the beneficiaries of the Promissory Note: CMAH2018 and its subsidiaries (Investco, Joule, and the Foundation) will eventually have a nice nest egg with no debt to the CMA, presuming they are successful at growing the $2.7 billion. In fact, one is left with no clarity on whether the amounts paid back annually are simply a fraction of the gains experienced as the payment in 2020 was $106 million and in 2021 only $30 million, and do not impact the principal.

Also as you observe, despite the opening comment from the auditors:

"We have audited the non-consolidated financial statements of the Canadian Medical Association and its subsidiaries [the “Group”], which comprise the non-consolidated statement of financial position as at December 31, 2021, and the non-consolidated statement of operations, non-consolidated statement of changes in net assets, and non-consolidated statement of cash flows for the year then ended, and notes to the non-consolidated financial statements, including a summary of significant accounting policies."

The report does not show details of the 'subsidiaries [the "Group"]'.

Considering that,

"Management is responsible for the preparation and fair presentation of the non-consolidated financial statements in accordance with Canadian accounting standards for not-for-profit organizations, and for such internal control as management determines is necessary to enable the preparation of non-consolidated financial statements that are free from material misstatement, whether due to fraud or error."


"4. Financial risk management

The Board of Directors of the Association has responsibility for the review and oversight of the Association's risk management framework and general corporate risk profile. Through its committees, the Board of Directors oversees analysis of various risks facing the Association that evolve in response to economic conditions and industry circumstances."

How is the Board ensuring oversight?