B.C. Professional Accountants expel Dennis Bontron

Lillooet accountant Dennis Bontron has been expelled from membership in the Chartered Professional Accountants of British Columbia after a hearing convened by the Certified General Accountants (CGA) Disciplinary Committee.

Bontron told the News May 20 that he has “ended my affiliation with the association but I have not discontinued my business in town.”

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He said his expulsion was not based on any wrongdoing on his part, but was instead based on his failure to complete 200 hours of course work over the past three years.

“I didn’t have the time to do that and illness interfered with my ability to do that,” he explained.

The B.C. accountants’ governing body filed two complaints against Bontron, who served two terms as Lillooet’s mayor – from 2008 to 2011 and from 2012 to 2014 as well as two earlier terms as a municipal councillor.

The first complaint focused on his failure to comply with a previous discipline order dated Sept. 29, 2014. That order required him to pay a fine, complete a four-hour ethics course and improve his conduct by complying with CPD (Continuing Professional Development) requirements and with theCGA-Canada Public Practice Entrance and Continuance Standard.

The Disciplinary Summary issued by the Chartered Professional Accountants of British Columbia says he failed to comply with those requirements.

The association then lodged a second complaint alleging Bontron did not report the required number of CPD hours for the Reporting Period 2012-2014, which included a shortfall of 50 verifiable hours.  In addition, he did not report a four-hour business ethics course as required in the same reporting period.

At a Jan. 21, 2016 Discipline Committee hearing, the committee’s panel found Bontron was in breach of CGA-BC’s Code of Ethical Principles and Rules of Conduct in effect from Sept. 20, 2014 as follows:

- he failed to comply with the Discipline Order dated Sept. 29, 2014. 

- he did not obtain the mandated continuing professional development hours for the 2012 – 2014 reporting period.

- he failed to adhere to the terms and conditions of membership, specifically those that relate to adhering to the spirit and letter of the law, regulations and CGA-BC’s Code of Ethical Principles and Rules of Professional Conduct.

The panel ordered that:

- Bontron be suspended from membership for a period of nine months;

- a fine of $7,500 be assessed;

- he pay the $3,428.80 costs of the hearing;

- he improve his conduct by completing the four-hour ethics course prior to the end of the nine-month suspension noted above; and

- he be required to improve his conduct, in addition to the requirement above, by obtaining a minimum of 50 verifiable hours and three non-verifiable hours before the end of his nine-month suspension period.

The panel also ruled that if Bontron failed to comply with its order within the times specified, he should be expelled from membership in the professional association.

According to the Chartered Professional Accountants Association of British Columbia’s official document, “As the Discipline Committee Order was not complied with, Mr. Bontron is expelled from membership effective Mar. 14, 2016.”

Although the Disciplinary Panel’s decision was handed down in March, copies of the disciplinary document only began circulating around Lillooet last week.

The initial allegations against Bontron were made when he was a member of the Certified General Accountants Association. Provincial legislation in 2015 joined B.C.’s three accounting bodies – the Institute of Chartered Accountants, the Certified Management/ Accountants Society and the Certified General Accounting Association – into a single organization, the Chartered Professional Accountants of B.C.

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