On April 9, the Ontario Legislature unanimously approved Laurel Broten’s private member’s notice of motion #81 and, calling on the Ontario Securities Commission to adopt an enhanced reporting framework for social and environmental information. The Commission is to report back to the Minister of Finance with its recommendations by January 1, 2010:
Be it resolved that, in the opinion of this House, the province of Ontario should undertake a review of Ontario’s current corporate disclosure reporting requirements, standards and compliance therewith, with a particular emphasis on additional financial and non-financial information to ensure that Ontario investors have access to all information material to them in making investment decisions
That, in undertaking such a review, the Ontario Securities Commission (“OSC”) should undertake a broad consultation with its own advisory bodies including the Continuous Disclosure Committee, concerned stakeholders, appropriate interest groups and individuals and other securities regulators, to establish best practice corporate social responsibility (“CSR”) and environmental, social and governance (” ESG”) reporting standards.
That the OSC seek to develop and adopt an enhanced standardized reporting framework for both quantitative and qualitative social and environmental information to ensure corporate disclosures are understandable, comparable and outcome-focused.
That the OSC shall report back to the Minister of Finance no later than January 1, 2010, with regard to its findings, together with recommendations for next steps to enhance disclosure.
The motion is not legally binding on the OSC, but they are expected to take it seriously. If the OSC does compel this additional disclosure, the information will be particularly helpful to environmentally conscious investors and environmental rating systems such as Corporate Knights and Michael Jantzi.