Canada's proxy voting system has been criticized over the years by commentators complaining of such things as over-voting and empty voting. In a recent panel discussion on BNN, available by clicking the image below, Mihkel Voore (Partner, Stikeman Elliott), John Lute (President, Lute & Company) and Chris Makuch (VP National Sales & Marketing, Georgeson Shareholder Canada) discuss the proxy voting system and specifically, in Part 3 of the discussion, the potential for reform.
As we discussed earlier this year, one potential development may come from the Ontario Securities Commission. Specifically, the OSC's latest Statement of Priorities includes as one of its goals for 2012-2013 the improvement of the proxy voting system. According to the OSC, the process towards improving the proxy system will include (i) conducting an empirical analysis to review concerns about the accountability, transparency and efficiency of the voting system; (ii) facilitating discussions among market participants on improving the functions of the proxy system; and (iii) working with the CSA to review the role of proxy advisers in Canada's capital markets by soliciting feedback from issuers, investors and other market participants.
Click here to watch the video.