Report of the Auditor General of Canada on the 2019–20 Consolidated Financial Statements of the Government of Yukon

Opening Statement to the Standing Committee on Public Accounts of the Yukon Legislative Assembly

Report of the Auditor General of Canada on the 2019–20 Consolidated Financial Statements of the Government of Yukon

9 February 2021

Karen Hogan, Chartered Professional AccountantCPA, Chartered AccountantCA
Auditor General of Canada

Mr. Chair, thank you for the opportunity to discuss our audit of the consolidated financial statements of the Government of Yukon for the 2019–20 fiscal year. I am accompanied by Lana Dar, who was the Principal responsible for the audit, and Michelle Spence, who was the Director.

Our primary responsibility as auditor for the Government of Yukon is to audit the government’s consolidated financial statements and express an opinion on them. As legislative auditors, we also report on the government’s compliance with specified authorities.

The consolidated financial statements within the Yukon Public Accounts are a key government accountability document that can help legislative assembly members understand the results of the government’s financial transactions. Therefore, our audit of the financial statements supports the legislative assembly’s oversight of the government, promotes transparency, and encourages good financial management.

The committee’s review of the Yukon Public Accounts is an important step in ensuring accountability for how public funds are spent and how government finances are reported. I am pleased that the committee is holding this hearing to examine the government’s financial results.

The government carries out its accounting and financial reporting responsibilities through its Office of the Comptroller within the Department of Finance. The Deputy Minister of Finance and the Comptroller will answer questions about the preparation of the financial statements. We will focus on our audit.

Our independent auditor’s report is on pages 29 to 32 in Part 2 of the Yukon Public Accounts. We have issued an unmodified audit opinion on the consolidated financial statements. They conform in all material respects with the Canadian public sector accounting standards, which means that the information in the statements is reliable.

The consolidated financial statements, which include the accounts of the government and its controlled entities, show that the government had net financial assets of $172 million as at 31 March 2020. Net assets are the amount by which the government’s financial assets exceed its financial liabilities. In other words, this number tells the reader whether the government’s financial assets are enough to cover its liabilities. It is a key financial indicator.

The government makes estimates and assumptions that affect the amounts reported in the financial statements. The COVID‑19 pandemic emerged and evolved during the fiscal year. We assessed its effects and reviewed areas that are more sensitive to accounting estimates and market fluctuations. Overall, the pandemic did not significantly affect the consolidated financial statements.

I want to note that as a result of the pandemic, this audit was completed entirely virtually while our auditors worked remotely. We adapted our approach and maintained good communication with the government departments and territorial corporations. We worked together to build a successful virtual collaboration which is ongoing.

I would like to thank the Deputy Minister of Finance, the Comptroller, their staff, and the staff of the departments and territorial corporations who were involved in preparing the government’s financial statements. We appreciate the effort, cooperation, and help of all involved, especially given the pressures created by the pandemic.

Mr. Chair, this concludes my opening remarks. We would be pleased to answer the committee’s questions.