The Commons industry committee last night approved a cabinet bill to mandate disclosure of ownership of federally registered corporations. Police acknowledged the bill would not include 85 percent of Canadian companies that are provincially registered.

“This is a federal initiative that will only apply to a small percentage of companies in Canada given that most are incorporated under provincial laws,” testified RCMP Superintendent Denis Beaudoin. “To avoid leaving vulnerabilities that can be exploited by illicit actors, beneficial ownership transparency must be addressed across Canada as a whole to be useful. Otherwise criminals will simply use a province that doesn’t have a registry.”

Bill C-42 An Act To Amend The Canada Business Corporations Act would require that federally registered companies annually submit the names and addresses of individuals holding “significant control,” a minimum 25 percent of shares. “What our bill asks for is, who is the human, the natural person at the very end of the chain who is actually exercising control?” said Mark Schaan, senior assistant deputy industry minister. “If that person is exercising greater than 25 percent of control, that is whose name appears.”

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