Okay, that title is a very lame Canadian joke, but if you were made to look like a fool on a hockey rink by your Canadian pals as frequently as I am, you’d be looking for a little payback too. Anyway, according to this Blakes memo, recent amendments to the Canada Business Corporation Act may result in a mandatory “say-on-pay” regime for federally chartered Canadian public companies.
Details are in the memo, but what’s more interesting to me is that the memo points out that say-on-pay has already become pretty widespread in Canada among larger cap companies on a purely voluntary basis:
Shareholder Say-on-Pay advisory votes on the compensation practices of public companies in Canada started in 2010 when the major Canadian banks gave their shareholders an advisory Say-on-Pay vote. By 2011, 71 reporting issuers in Canada had adopted Say-on-Pay advisory votes, representing approximately 7% of Canadian listed issuers by number, excluding structured-product issuers and non-listed issuers.
That number has steadily grown each year, such that a total of 220 companies in Canada have now adopted an annual Say-on-Pay advisory vote, including more than 71% of companies in the TSX Composite Index and 52 of the TSX60 Index companies. The adoption of this practice has been completely voluntary thus far, in many cases in response to pressure from institutional investor groups, such as the Canadian Coalition for Good Governance (CCGG), or non-binding votes on shareholder proposals.
-John Jenkins, TheCorporateCounsel.net October 18, 2019
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