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Corporate governance: Evolution of existing trends in 2019

Author(s): Andrew MacDougall, John M. Valley

Dec 13, 2019

Canadian corporate governance developments in 2019 reflected the evolution of a number of existing trends. These include an ongoing focus on environmental, social and governance (ESG) matters, including diversity and climate change, together with the delivery of the Ontario Securities Commission’s (OSC) long-anticipated report on regulatory burden reduction. Developments in the U.S. regarding the regulation of proxy advisory firms may also lead to further consideration of that issue in Canada.   


As reflected in our fifth annual comprehensive report on diversity disclosure practices by TSX-listed companies, Canadian companies this year achieved some key diversity benchmarks. Women accounted for over one-third of the total of newly created or vacated board seats. A majority of all companies disclosing whether or not they have adopted a written diversity policy now state that their policy specifically targets the identification and nomination of women directors. Over three-quarters of all companies have at least one female director and over one-third have two or more. As a result, women now hold 18.2% of all board seats, and hold over 30% of the available board seats among the S&P/TSX 60 companies – aligning with the goal of the 30% Club...