Government of Canada brings transparency and diversity to boardrooms
New legislation advances gender equality and diversity in Canada’s corporations
May 1, 2018, Ottawa
Today, the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, welcomed Royal Assent of Bill C-25 as a major step toward making corporations more transparent, inclusive and reflective of Canada’s diversity.
Bill C-25 makes targeted amendments to four key federal marketplace laws: the Canada Business Corporations Act, the Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act, the Canada Cooperatives Act and the Competition Act. Marketplace framework laws set the ground rules for how Canadian businesses operate, promoting investor confidence and a competitive marketplace.
The amendments will help shareholder democracy and participation, improve corporate transparency, and advance gender equality and diversity in Canada’s boardrooms.
This new legislation is in line with the Government of Canada’s commitment to equality and growth for a strong middle class.
“When we come together in our community, in the workplace or on a board of directors, our diversity and our experiences are what bring unique ideas to the table. The best ideas can come from anyone or anywhere. Progress can take time, but we encourage corporate Canada to rise to the challenge because diversity is our strength.”
– The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development
“For too long, hard-working women business owners and leaders have been under-represented in the private sector. We believe it’s time to change. This legislation will make a meaningful difference, but there is still work to be done. That is why we announced a nationally coordinated, regionally delivered Women Entrepreneurship Strategy in Budget 2018. We know we can and must do more to support women entrepreneurs as they invest in and grow their businesses. This will mean growth for our economy and good jobs for Canadians. We must work together, not just for the strength of our economy but also for our society.”
– The Honourable Bardish Chagger, Minister of Small Business and Tourism and Leader of the Government in the House of Commons
Women make up 48% of the workforce but hold an estimated 14% of all Canadian board seats and approximately 22% of the board seats in Financial Post 500 companies.
To encourage diversity on boards and in senior management of publicly traded companies that are federally incorporated, regulations are being drafted under the new legislation to ensure they release figures on board diversity and information on the nature of their diversity policies.
Follow Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada on Twitter: @ISED_CA
Karl W. Sasseville
Office of the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada
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