Research Paper Number



Shadows and Light: Addressing Information Asymmetries Through Enhanced Social Disclosure in Canadian Securities Law

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Disclosure of information - Laws and legislation - Canada; Securities - Canada; Corporate governance - Canada; Privacy; Right of - Canada


This article explores the relationship between social disclosure and corporate accountability in Canada. I begin by reviewing the extent to which Canadian companies have reported social information and the degree to which such disclosure is actually required under securities law. This is followed by a set of recommendations that I hope will serve to enhance the disclosure landscape. I then turn my attention to the potential benefits social disclosure can provide in terms of the overall human rights project. I explore this issue with reference to the broader theoretical frameworks of new governance and reflexive law. I argue that social disclosure has the potential to empower human rights conscious shareholders with information that can be used to engage corporate management in dialogue and influence corporate operations. I further contend that a movement towards enhanced social disclosure should be viewed as the corollary of recent developments in Canadian corporate law involving directors' and officers' fiduciary obligations.

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