Diversity disclosure rules now in effect for federally incorporated public companies

Effective January 1, 2020, under Bill C-25, all distributing corporations are now required to disclose information regarding the diversity of their board of directors and senior management teams to their shareholders.

The Government of Canada states that a corporation’s senior management team could include any of the following members:

  • chair and vice-chair of board of directors,
  • president of the corporation
  • chief executive officer and chief financial officer
  • vice-president in charge of a principle business unit
  • anyone who performs a policy-making function within the corporation.

This update to reporting requirements relate largely to the representation of four designated groups, defined in the Employment Equity Act, which include:

  • women
  • Indigenous peoples (First Nations, Inuit and Métis)
  • persons with disabilities; and
  • members of visible minorities

A corporation may choose to disclose information of any other group that they believe contributes to diversity of their boards and senior management teams, however, reporting on the above stated four groups is a minimum requirement.

What does this mean for you?

If your corporation is governed by the Canada Business Corporations Act (CBCA), and has publicly traded securities, at your annual meetings you will be required to disclose diversity information in your proxy circular.

This information should also be sent to Corporations Canada, through the Online Filing Centre.

If you have questions on how this may impact your company, please contact a member of our Securities and Public Company Team today!

This blog post is intended to provide general information and does not constitute legal advice. You should consult a lawyer for advice regarding your individual situation.

Every effort has been made to ensure the contents of the blog post were accurate as of the date it was written, however, the law can change and we cannot guarantee that the information remains accurate.  In addition, because the comments above are of a general nature, they may not apply for every situation.  If you have questions, please contact us and we would be happy to discuss your individual circumstances, and whether there have been any changes to the law that would affect the information presented.

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