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Blog > Economy > Bill S-203: Socially Just and Economically Sound
Jun 23

Bill S-203: Socially Just and Economically Sound

OTTAWA, June 23, 2021 - Senator Céline Hervieux-Payette tabled Bill S-203 to modernize the composition of boards of directors of certain corporations, financial institutions and parent Crown corporations, and in particular to ensure balanced representation of women and men on those boards.

“It is time for Canada to show leadership and commitment on the path of social and economic progress,” said Senator Hervieux-Payette adding that “the strength of a society is based on the full participation of women and men in the economy, the government and in all decision-making processes of a country.”

During the past year, Senator Hervieux-Payette has consulted many organizations and associations which led her to conclude that there was a consensus in obtaining a minimum of 40% of each gender on boards of directors.

In addition, the bill renews decision making processes by requiring a minimum of 40% of each sex on boards and allowing shareholders the opportunity to vote against the election of a director.

It should be noted that France, Norway, Spain and Quebec have laws requiring the balanced representation of men and women on boards of directors.

In March 2011, the government of Quebec announced that the proportion of women on boards of Quebec state-owned corporations had now reached 48%.

“Quebec is a great example of a jurisdiction where a bill has recognized the expertise of many qualified women who have the skills to lead large corporations” concluded the Senator.

In the previous legislature, Conservative senators killed Bill S-206, a Bill similar to S-203, by refusing to vote on it article by article, as well as shelving the testimony and studies presented by the witnesses who appeared before the Senate Standing Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce.

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