12 Apr 2011

“It is imperative that people facing debt problems get a firm handle on every aspect of the matter, so that they can make enlightened decisions”
Marc Bergeron, Vice-President, Recovery & Reorganization

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Montréal, April 12, 2011 – In response to the report on Radio-Canada’s La Facture, broadcast on April 5, 2011 and illustrating the debt-repayment problems that some people may be faced with, Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton acknowledges that these situations are unacceptable and would like to remind people of the importance of owning up to their responsibilities in order to get out of their financial rut.

“We consider the situation of the two people interviewed in the Radio-Canada report to be appalling. Individuals facing tough financial situations need to benefit from astute advice in order to be able to meet their obligations of their own accord, without having to compromise their quality of life,” stated Marc Bergeron, Vice-President, Recovery and Reorganization.

Today, a growing number of Canadians are placing themselves in debt. Moreover, there are a significant number of bankruptcies. In 2010 in Quebec, 39,870 bankruptcies were declared and proposals filed, or 28% of the total number of those filed in Canada. In 1966, for example, there were 4,677 bankruptcies in Canada, according to the Quebec legal network; in 2010, that number soared to 140,234 (including proposals). Moreover, the rate of household debt increased sharply in 2009: the ratio between debts and disposable income was 147% in Canada, whereas it was 100% at the beginning of the year 2000, as recently revealed by a Desjardins Economic Study.

The reality behind this increase in the level of debt of Quebeckers may lead to abuses with respect to the expert support provided to people who are financially at risk. ”The information being delivered by a trustee must be transparent and the client must understand clearly enough, without any ambiguity whatsoever, all of the tenets and conclusions of his or her decision, since bankruptcy is not the only solution. In many cases, a reorganization of personal finances, a consolidation of debt, voluntary deposit or consumer proposal may help to avoid bankruptcy. Moreover, remember that a trustee is the only qualified individual capable of providing the set of solutions that will help consumers avoid bankruptcy,” said Éric Lebel, Partner and Trustee- Insolvency and Restructuring Professional.

Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton would like to warn people of the practices of some advisors. ”Facing financial difficulty requires that the individual concerned receive strict guidance, which requires extensive expertise and comprehensive knowledge of the insolvency practice on the part of the professional. Every individual can learn to ease the restrictions of financial pressure, provided that they make use of all of the tools at their disposal to do so. A trustee-insolvency and restructuring professional is there to provide thorough and effective answers to financial concerns. Unfortunately, too many people still contact a trustee only as a last resort, whereas the trustee should be the first person they consult,” concluded Marc Bergeron.

Lastly, there are certain tell-tale signs indicating the existence of a financial problem; so remaining alert is the watchword. Here are some of these signs:

  • Are you always borrowing money to make ends meet?
  • Do you wait too long before paying your bills?
  • Is the number of your creditors constantly increasing?
  • Are you unable to make the rent on the first of the month?
  • Are you paying too much interest without reducing the capital on your debts?
  • Are you using your credit cards for necessity rather than convenience?
  • Are creditors harassing you for payment?
  • Have creditors threatened to garnish your wages?
  • Do you find yourself making SNF cheques?
  • Do you cut down on grocery or other essential expenses to make your payments?
  • Do you find yourself borrowing on one credit card to make the minimum payment on another credit card?
  • If you answered ”yes” to one or more of these questions, you would do well to consult a trustee. A trustee can help you come up with solutions to your financial problems.

About Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton

Founded in 1948, Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton is a leader in the fields of assurance, taxation, consulting, business recovery and reorganization services. The Firm owes its success to a team of over 2,000 people, including over 225 partners in more than 90 offices in Quebec, eastern Ontario and New Brunswick. The scope of its network has made the Firm the leader in its sector of activities. Additionally, for more than thirty years now, our Firm has also been a member of Grant Thornton International Ltd., providing its clientele with access to the expertise of member and correspondent firms in over 100 countries.

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Information:

Francis Letendre
Consultant, Public Relations
Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton
Tel.: 514-390-4201
Cell.: 514-554-1685
letendre.francis@rcgt.com
www.rcgt.com

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30 Mar 2011

Montréal, March 30, 2011 – Tonight, March 30, 2011, Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton held the official opening of its newly-expanded and redesigned offices in Laval before nearly 200 invited guests. The event highlighted the Firm’s growth on the North Shore and was an occasion to thank Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton’s clients and business partners, the driving force behind this growth.

During the festivities, Marco Berretta, Managing Partner of the Laval office, highlighted recent mergers that contributed to the office’s expansion. “Since 2005, when Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton first opened its new office in Laval, we have more than tripled our floor space. Our Firm’s growth is due, in large part, to recent mergers and acquisitions⎯the Lachute office in 2006, Di Ioia in 2009, Louis Lacasse on January 1, 2010, Beaudry Charbonneau in July 2010 and Pratt Bélanger in January 2011. I am very pleased to be able to count on this great team to meet our growing clientele’s varied needs.”

Jean Robillard, President and Chief Executive Officer of Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton, also in attendance, made a point of thanking all of the clients and business partners who contributed to the Firm’s success in the Laval region. “Our Firm’s expansion is a source of great pride. The need to expand a work location is a sign of growth, and for that, we can thank our clients and business partners for their confidence. Their interests are very important to us and we will continue to meet their needs efficiently and attentively,” concluded Jean Robillard.

The Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton Laval offices are located in the Tours Triomphe, 2500 Daniel-Johnson Boulevard, Suite 300. The Firm now occupies two floors in this building.

About Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton

Founded in 1948, Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton is a leader in the fields of assurance, taxation, consulting, business recovery and reorganization services. The Firm owes its success to a team of over 2,000 people, including over 225 partners in more than 90 offices in Quebec, eastern Ontario and New Brunswick. The scope of its network has made the Firm the leader in its sector of activities. Additionally, for more than thirty years now, our Firm has also been a member of Grant Thornton International Ltd, providing its clientele with access to the expertise of member and correspondent firms in over 100 countries.

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Information:
Marie-Eve Carignan
Senior Consultant, Communications
Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton
Telephone: 514-878-2691, extension 2388
Email: carignan.marie-eve@rcgt.com

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23 Mar 2011

Congratulations to Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton’s entire Eastern Townships team on having been named Coop Employer of the Year by Bishop University’s Williams School of Business. The award was presented to Hélène Chrétien, Consulting Services Partner (Sherbrooke) and Jean Martel, Senior Director, Human Resources Consulting (Sherbrooke) for our commitment and ability to provide quality mentoring to students. Bravo to the Eastern Townships office on this outstanding success!

Melissa Crook, Junior at our Sherbrooke office, who returned to school, presented the Coop Employer of the Year award to Hélène Chrétien

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22 Mar 2011

Montréal, March 22, 2011 – Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton reiterates the need for tax equity in connection with business transfers to family interests, while taking the opportunity to send taxpayers its summary of the main tax measures in the federal budget. The 2011 federal government budget highlights may be viewed at: http://www.rcgt.com/en/budget-annual/staying-the-course/.

Call for tax fairness on business transfers

In the wake of the recent provincial budget, Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton urged the Government of Quebec to make the necessary legislative changes without delay so that business transfers to family interests are no longer at a disadvantage. “Today, we are making the same call for tax equity to federal Finance Minister, James M. Flaherty. We understand that difficult choices must be made when preparing a budget, but considering that entrepreneurial succession is an important issue for Quebec and Canada’s economic development, we had hoped for immediate changes,” stated Jean Robillard, President and Chief Executive Officer.

Our report, entitled Business Transfers: Problems and Suggested Solutions, that we sent to Mr. Flaherty on December 2, 2010, suggests ten possible solutions to offset the tax bias affecting business transfers to family members. “More specifically, these suggested solutions aim to correct the inadequacy between the reality of the business world and the current taxation system, by proposing changes to the tax laws that would support intergenerational transfers that meet an economic reality criterion,” stated Suzanne Landry, Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton University Partner, HEC Tax Professor and the report’s lead author.

One of the important ways to stimulate entrepreneurship would be to amend Section 84.1 of the Canadian Income Tax Act, because, believe it or not, it is usually more beneficial for business owners to sell their company to a third party or even foreign interests rather than transfer it to a family member,” stated Tax Partner Jean Gauthier.

Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton wishes to reiterate, once again, that, under both federal and provincial legislation, capital gains are considered as a deemed dividend when an individual disposes of shares of a company resident in Canada, for a cash consideration, to another company that is not dealt with at arm’s length. When the company whose shares were sold is connected to the buyer after the transaction, the seller cannot benefit from the capital gains deduction.

“Considering that the entrepreneurial business rate has been decreasing for the past 20 years across Canada, that only 3,000 Quebec entrepreneurs aged between 30 and 44 would be new business owners by 2018, that is, ten times less than in Ontario, and that entrepreneurial businesses in Quebec would suffer a major 13.9% decrease by 2018, there is an urgent need to act! We hope that the governments will reach agreement quickly and make the necessary legislative changes to ensure our economic competitiveness, long-lasting businesses and entrepreneurial succession without tax bias,” concluded Jean Robillard.

About Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton

Founded in 1948, Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton is a leader in the fields of assurance, taxation, consulting, business recovery and reorganization services. The Firm owes its success to a team of over 2,000 people, including over 225 partners in more than 90 offices in Quebec, eastern Ontario and New Brunswick. The scope of its network has made the Firm the leader in its sector of activities. Additionally, for more than thirty years now, our Firm has also been a member of Grant Thornton International Ltd., providing its clientele with access to the expertise of member and correspondent firms in over 100 countries.

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Information:

Francis Letendre
Public Relations Consultant
Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton
T. 514 878-2691, extension 2398
C. 514 554-1685
letendre.francis@rcgt.com
www.rcgt.com