Comments - 3. Corporate Transparency

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Issue to be addressed

Concealing information about corporate ownership can facilitate:

  • tax evasion
  • money laundering
  • terrorist financing
  • human rights abuses
  • corruption

By improving corporate transparency, governments can safeguard against the misuse of corporations and other legal entities while continuing to facilitate the ease of doing business in order to foster growth and innovation.

In Canada, the responsibility for corporate law is shared between federal, provincial, and territorial governments. Additionally, international collaboration and information-sharing where appropriate can support more effective work in this domain by identifying best practices and common challenges. Coordination is therefore needed to address corporate issues effectively.

Commitment

The Government of Canada will continue to work with provincial and territorial governments to implement the federal, provincial, and territorial finance ministers’ December 2017 Agreement to Strengthen Beneficial Ownership Transparency. We will:

  • require federal corporations to hold beneficial ownership information
  • engage with key stakeholders on possible options to improve timely access to beneficial ownership information

Milestones

3.1 Implement legislative amendments to require federal corporations to hold accurate and up to date beneficial ownership information, and eliminate use of bearer shares

3.1.1 Amendments made to the Canada Business Corporations Act 

3.2 Work with provincial and territorial governments and key stakeholders representing various perspectives on possible options to improve timely access to beneficial ownership information, including retention and disclosure obligations relating to such information and the exploration of a public registry option

3.2.1 Consultations, framed by a discussion document, with stakeholders from civil society, private sector, academia and other sectors are held to discuss issues relating to beneficial ownership information, including emerging best practices in other jurisdictions 

3.2.2 Federal recommendations are provided to provincial and territorial governments on improving timely access to beneficial ownership information

3.3 Continue to work with provincial and territorial governments to support coordinated implementation of the Agreement to Strengthen Beneficial Ownership Transparency

3.3.1 All elements of the Agreement are implemented by the federal government