Ontario Member of Provincial Parliament Stephanie Bowman has introduced a Private Member’s Bill that would require publicly traded companies governed by the Ontario Securities Act to develop and make publicly available their policy respecting the director nomination process to identify board candidates who are women, Black, Indigenous and other people of colour, persons with disabilities, and LGBTQ2S+.
The Bill reads as follows:
Written policies, board diversity
121.2.1 An issuer whose shares are publicly traded shall adopt and make publicly available a written policy respecting the director nomination process that provides for the identification of candidates who belong to one or more of the following groups: women, persons who are Black, Indigenous or racialized, persons with disabilities and persons who are LGBTQ+.
The Bill. titled Building Better Business Outcomes Act, 2022, will be presented for Second Reading to the legislature on February 28th and, if passed, will move to Committee for public discussion and input. This would be a great advancement of the issue of LGBTQ+ Public Corporate Board representation for discussion and debate.
Professor Poonam Puri of Osgoode Hall Law School, a noted authority on Board Governance, states that the bill will require companies to consider how they approach their board nomination process to ensure they are getting the best voices they can and will show investors which companies are taking this issue seriously. She describes it as a light-handed approach to advance the issue and inform the public on progress of the issue of diversity of Corporate Boards.
We will keep you informed of the progress of the Bill as it moves forward.