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The IFRS Foundation today announced a package of key actions, including a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Montréal International to obtain the financial support of the Government of Canada and the Government of Quebec. This support will help the IFRS Foundation to fully establish its International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) within the Canadian sustainability ecosystem. The actions follow the announcement at the November 2021 COP26 climate conference that the ISSB would establish a Montreal centre as part of a multilocation approach.  

This latest announcement builds on the April 2022 signing of an MoU with a coalition of private-sector stakeholders, organised by Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA Canada). The IFRS Foundation has:

  • signed a public sector MoU facilitated by Montréal International on behalf of the Government of Canada and the Government of Quebec;
  • commenced operations in Montreal with the June 2022 Trustees meeting, and initiated activities to support the ISSB’s full onsite presence, which would include staff and recently announced ISSB members, Jeffrey Hales and Michael Jantzi;
  • announced the appointment of Charles-Antoine St-Jean as Regional Director—Americas, located in the Montreal office, with responsibilities that include connecting the work of the ISSB into the broader Canadian sustainability ecosystem;
  • scheduled initial ISSB meetings to be held in Montreal in October and December 2022; and
  • confirmed that the inaugural ISSB Symposium will be hosted in Montreal, with the dates to be confirmed.

This announcement coincides with a meeting of the IFRS Foundation Trustees, taking place for the first time in Montreal on 28-30 June 2022. The Trustees are responsible for the governance, oversight and financing of the IFRS Foundation, as well as appointments to the International Accounting Standards Board and the ISSB. As part of their meeting, the Trustees will co-host with CPA Canada a stakeholder event to recognise support from the Canadian private and public sectors.

Commenting on the agreement, Erkki Liikanen, Chair of the IFRS Foundation Trustees, said:

This comprehensive programme of activities reciprocates the commitment of Canadian stakeholders to help establish and support the important work of the ISSB. I thank all involved for the faith they have placed in our organisation. We have much work ahead of us, and look forward to working in close cooperation with our Canadian partners.

Emmanuel Faber, Chair of the ISSB, said:

I am delighted with our continued momentum in establishing our presence in Montreal. Basing key ISSB activities in Montreal is important to establishing our presence in the Americas. I look forward to working with my ISSB colleagues based in Montreal and our partners in the public and private sectors.

Additional quotes

The Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance of Canada, said:

We are thrilled to be launching the ISSB’s new office in Montreal—one that was made possible by the hard work and funding from dozens of Canadian public and private institutions. This new office will advance Canada’s role as a leader in sustainable finance, and help ensure Canada is at the centre of the ongoing global transition to net-zero.

The Honourable Pascale St-Onge, Member of Parliament for Brome–Missisquoi, Minister of Sport and Minister responsible for Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions, said:

Our government is delighted that the International Sustainability Standards Board is opening an office in Montreal. In addition to raising the city’s profile, we will help businesses and organisations make sustainable development a priority. This project is a key component of our government’s ambitious environmental goals in response to the climate change crisis.

Nadine Girault, Minister of International Relations and La Francophonie and responsible for the Laurentides Region, said:

The opening of an important centre of the International Sustainability Standards Board confirms Montreal and Quebec's place among the world's financial centres for sustainable finance. I am proud to see the Government of Quebec associated with this important project. This new international organisation in Quebec will strengthen our international outreach and reaffirm the importance we attach to sustainable development. The ISSB can count on the commitment and leading-edge expertise of the Quebec sustainable finance community.

Valérie Plante, Mayor of Montréal and Chair of the Communauté métropolitaine de Montréal, said:

Our administration is proud to welcome a new world-renowned organisation. Montreal is a leader in sustainable finance in Canada and North America, and the presence of the ISSB in the city will accelerate the mobilisation of other cities in Canada and North America to reduce the global ecological footprint. The ecological transition is the greatest challenge of our century and we are determined to tackle this challenge with all local and international stakeholders. 

Stéphane Paquet, President and CEO of Montréal International, said:

The ISSB’s Montreal office is a project that has mobilised the public and private sector, and it is a delight to see it come to fruition. The planned ISSB Symposium and other such activities to be held locally put Montreal at the forefront of green economic development and strengthens the city's large community of international organisations specialising in sustainable development and environmental issues.

Pamela Steer, President and CEO of CPA Canada, said:

The commencement of ISSB operations in Montreal is a testament to the dedication displayed by the Coalition of Canadian Champions for Global Sustainability Standards. The collective efforts from a broad array of sectors brought the ISSB to Canada and cemented the country as an integral player in creating a common and consistent reporting ecosystem globally.

Followable tags

IFRS Sustainability Standards development
IFRS Foundation strategy and governance