Diversity takes Canadian governance spotlight – Corporate Secretary

John M. Valley

Jan 25, 2018

Osler partner John Valley tells Corporate Secretary that proxy access will likely remain high on the board agenda in Canada in 2018. In her article in the December 2017 edition of Corporate Secretary, author Debbie Miller explores various developments in the corporate governance landscape, including board diversity, new listing disclosure requirements and proxy access. The article references an Osler Legal Year in Review article by John, Andrew MacDougall and Lynne Lacoursière, partners in Osler's Corporate Group, to discuss proxy access. In another Osler Update, John and Andrew define proxy access as "the ability of qualified shareholders to have director nominees included in the company’s proxy circular and form of proxy, subject to certain restrictions.” John, who specializes in Corporate Governance, explains.

He tells Corporate Secretary that in 2018, “other financial institutions may consider adopting proxy access policies and non-financial institution issuers will likely do so. Given the existing statutory shareholder proposal mechanics, however, there is less reason for change and they are more likely to adopt a wait-and-see approach.”

The article also explores the slow progress being made in terms of gender diversity on boards. Osler’s third annual 2017 Diversity Disclosure Practices Report provides an updated snapshot on the representation of women in leadership roles in corporate Canada.

For more information, read Debbie Miller’s article “Diversity takes Canadian governance spotlight” on pages 46-49 of the December 2017 issue of Corporate Secretary.