Canada: CBCA Reforms Receive Royal Assent

Progress towards amending the Canada Business Corporations Act continues with Bill C-25 receiving Royal Assent on May 1. The amendments are aimed, in part, at greater alignment between the CBCA and Canadian securities laws, TSX rules and certain international best practices. Key reforms affecting public CBCA corporations are diversity disclosure, majority voting requirements and internet posting of meeting materials (notice-and-access).

Timing of Implementation

The regulations under Bill C-25 are still in draft form and are expected to be finalized in the next 18-24 months. Market participants may provide comments on the draft regulations to Corporations Canada using the contact information in the Explanatory Note on Proposed Regulatory Amendments.1 Next steps are for the Department of Justice to consult on the regulations, possibly resulting in revisions; the regulations will then be published in the Canada Gazette, along with a Regulatory Impact Analysis Statement; market participants may then review and comment on the regulations as published in the Gazette. Only after these steps are completed will the regulations be finalized and proclaimed into force.

Depending on the ultimate timing of the process, CBCA corporations will likely be required to comply with the new diversity disclosure and majority voting requirements in the 2020 or 2021 meeting season. However, notice-and-access may, if desired, be used for delivering meeting materials in the meantime—see below for details.

Diversity Disclosure

Consistent with global trends, the federal government is aiming to increase diversity on boards of directors and among senior management. The draft CBCA regulations impose diversity disclosure requirements under a "comply-or-explain" model consistent with Canadian securities laws. However, while Canadian securities laws have been focused solely on the underrepresentation of women, the draft CBCA regulations require disclosure addressing enumerated categories derived from Canada's Employment Equity Act, namely women, visible minorities, aboriginal people and people with disabilities. Also in contrast to securities laws, the draft CBCA regulations do not contemplate any exemption for venture issuers.

Under the draft CBCA regulations, public CBCA corporations would be required to disclose

  • the number and percentage of women, visible minorities, aboriginal people and people with disabilities on the board of directors and in executive officer positions;
  • whether the issuer has adopted a written policy in respect of diversity relating to the enumerated categories on the board of directors;
  • the extent to which diversity relating to the enumerated categories is taken into account when nominating directors and appointing executive officers; and
  • whether targets have been adopted for women, visible minorities, aboriginal people and people with disabilities on the board and in executive officer positions.

Many corporations' existing diversity policies already address race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation and other diversity categories. The CBCA regulations would not mandate that corporations amend their policies, but disclosure would have to be made specifically in respect of the enumerated categories. The required diversity disclosure would appear in a corporation's proxy circular or other document provided to shareholders in connection with its annual meeting.

Majority Voting

Key features of the draft CBCA majority voting regulations are as follows:

  • Shareholders would be able to vote "for" or "against" each director, and a director would not be elected if he or she failed to receive majority support at an uncontested meeting. (This is stricter than the TSX rule, under which a director receiving less than majority support must immediately tender his or her resignation but, in exceptional circumstances, the board may decline to accept the resignation.)
  • An incumbent director who fails to receive majority support could remain in office until a successor is appointed or elected, up to a maximum of 90 days after the meeting. (This is more lenient that the TSX rule, which requires a director to resign immediately.)
  • The board would not have discretion to re-appoint the director, unless necessary to satisfy the Canadian residency requirement or the requirement that at least two directors not be officers or employees of the corporation.

Internet Posting of Meeting Materials (Notice-and-Access)

The notice-and-access regime under securities laws permits meeting materials, including the information circular, financial statements and MD&A, to be posted on an issuer's website, with only the notice of meeting and voting card being delivered to shareholders. The draft CBCA regulations are consistent with this, so CBCA corporations would no longer need an exemption from the Director to adopt notice-and-access.

Until now, many CBCA corporations have not used notice-and-access because the Director's legislative power to grant an exemption covered only the information circular delivery requirement; the financial statement delivery requirement remained. With Royal Assent, the legislation has broadened the Director's powers, so corporations may seek a complete exemption from the physical delivery requirements pending finalization of the regulations. Corporations Canada has indicated that exemptions should be applied for at least 60 days in advance of the delivery deadline for meeting materials.

Footnotes

1 See http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/cd-dgc.nsf/eng/cs07274.html.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Authors
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
 
In association with
Related Topics
 
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Related Articles
 
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Tools
Print
Font Size:
Translation
Channels
Mondaq on Twitter
 
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
 
Email Address
Company Name
Password
Confirm Password
Position
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Accounting
 Anti-trust
 Commercial
 Compliance
 Consumer
 Criminal
 Employment
 Energy
 Environment
 Family
 Finance
 Government
 Healthcare
 Immigration
 Insolvency
 Insurance
 International
 IP
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Litigation
 Media & IT
 Privacy
 Real Estate
 Strategy
 Tax
 Technology
 Transport
 Wealth Mgt
Regions
Africa
Asia
Asia Pacific
Australasia
Canada
Caribbean
Europe
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
U.K.
United States
Worldwide Updates
Registration (you must scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of www.mondaq.com

To Use Mondaq.com you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.

Disclaimer

The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.

General

Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions