We’ve had a light regulatory agenda so far this summer—the key proposals on our radar have been the Canadian Securities Administrators’ proposals on diversity disclosure with respect to TSX-listed issuers.
The Ontario regulator has endorsed disclosures offering insight into gender diversity as well as representation by Indigenous peoples, visible minorities, persons with disabilities, and the LGBTQ+ community among listed (non-venture) issuers’ boards and executive officers. Individual directors and officers would make their own personal decisions about what aspects of their identities to disclose, and issuers would be required to present this self-disclosed information in a standardized format.
The British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Northwest Territories regulators oppose standardized disclosure, saying issuers largely should get to decide what diversity information to present to investors, in what format. The other provinces and territories are undecided.
As a CFA charterholder and a member of the LGBTQ+ community, these proposals are important to me. Investors want and should have access to standardized, comparable, decision-useful information about diversity at the highest levels of Canada’s largest public companies. Of course, issuers should be free to provide additional information that places the standardized disclosures in context, as is the case with standardized financial disclosures. They also should be free to provide supplemental disclosure on aspects of diversity not mentioned above, like representation of linguistic minorities. The proposals endorsed by Ontario accommodate these considerations. Our comment letter will highlight this, and seek to respond to any other concerns raised in our many and ongoing bilateral conversations with regulators and stakeholders.
Before closing, I want to pay tribute to three of our outgoing CAC members: Barb Bauer, CFA, our Chair this past year; Cristina Lopez, CFA, also a former Chair of CAC; and Pierre-François Payette, CFA, who served on the CAC with distinction for almost a decade. We are greatly indebted to them for their leadership and expertise.
I also want to say how excited I am to serve on CAC’s executive this year alongside Vice Chairs Kevin Dickinson, CFA, and Ijeoma Madueke, CFA. The CAC is a critical voice in promoting investor protection and ethics in Canadian financial services. We all look forward to fostering these goals over 2023–24.