SHARE CEO Commentary on Ontario Budget

TORONTO – SHARE CEO Kevin Thomas responded to today’s Ontario budget announcements with the following comments:

General comments:

“The most important thing for investors is that the Ontario economy recovers quickly and that the people of Ontario are all equally able to participate in that recovery. We have an enduring interest in seeing policies that safeguard Ontario workers, that enable women and racialized workers to regain lost ground, and  that support sustainable growth.

“A big disappointment for us today is that paid sick days still didn’t make it onto the government’s agenda.”

On capital markets modernization:

“Developing a new Capital Markets Act will be critical in redefining the scope and depth of the regulator’s powers, and to enable the regulator to respond more effectively to rapidly changing conditions. But there’s a lot of work still to be done to get that right.”

“I disagree with expanding the mandate of the OSC to include competition and capital formation. At its worst we’ll have a tug of war between the investor protection mandate and the market growth mandate and won’t do either very well. What ultimately grows capital markets in any jurisdiction is clear rules and protections for investors, and a sustainable, inclusive and productive economy to invest in. What we’ll be looking for in the legislation is better definition of what those mandates mean, and how those mandates will be acted upon.”

On an inclusive Ontario economy:

“I would have liked to see work on diversity targets and measures more broadly to advance equity in the budget. Investors strongly support moves to tackle gender and racial equity in corporate Canada, and this is one of the areas in which regulatory direction is needed. Voluntary measures are just not enough. The Ford government needs to show Ontarians that its vision of a strong economy includes everyone. We hope to see that work taken up next as the government embarks on consultations around the Capital Markets Act.”

On new Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) disclosures:

“There’s a critical need for the OSC to get up to speed on ESG disclosures. If you look at the fast-paced reforms happening now at the US Securities Exchange Commission on climate disclosures, human capital disclosures and other investor-friendly moves, we’ve got some catching up to do. I’d like to see broader ESG disclosures mandated and not just climate-related disclosures, but climate action is urgent and we have to start somewhere and we have to start now.”