Bill C-25

June 20, 2017

Bill C-25 Speech

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to speak at report stage of Bill C-25, An Act to amend the Canada Business Corporations Act, the Canada Cooperatives Act, the Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act, and the Competition Act.

I will tell members that we will be supporting the bill. It is a bill that essentially came from the Conservative Party in the last Parliament.

Bill C-25 aims to make changes to the corporate governance regime for reporting issuers incorporated under the Canada Business Corporations Act. The CBCA is the incorporating statute for nearly 270,000 corporations. Although most of these are small or medium-sized and privately held, a large number of Canada’s reporting issuers are also governed by the CBCA.

The proposed amendments in Bill C-25 cover several key corporate governance matters: majority voting, individual voting, annual elections, notice and access, diversity-related disclosures, and shareholder proposal filing deadlines. If enacted, these changes will affect about 600 of the approximate 1,500 companies on the TSX.

Bill C-25 is also the minister’s second piece of legislation that has come straight from our previous Conservative government’s 2015 budget. For those in the House not aware, I will read an excerpt from page 140 of our previous Conservative government’s economic action plan 2015, which is:

We recognize that businesses play a vital role in creating jobs and generating economic growth, and that strong business strategies are central to a company’s success in creating and sustaining a competitive edge. Changes proposed to the Competition Act will do just that. They will reduce business uncertainty and create a competitive marketplace, and prevent anti-competitive practices. The amendments will also reduce the administrative burden on businesses.

Modernizing the acts addressed in Bill C-25 is a welcome improvement to the federal corporate statute and a reflection of the need to enhance companies’ corporate governance practices. With these amendments suggested by the NDP, Bill C-25 will be Canada’s next step in modernizing corporate governance.

The official opposition will stand with the NDP and the committee witnesses to have these amendments made to Bill C-25.