Times are changing for Canadian private corporations in terms of transparency and publicly available information. As of October 1, 2020, private companies in British Columbia have been required to maintain a registry of beneficial owners. Similarly, Québec’s transparency registry statute received Royal Assent on June 8, 2021. The Federal Government has also announced in its 2021 Budget that a publicly accessible beneficial ownership registry would be in place by 2025.
Not to be outdone, Ontario has joined the growing number of Canadian jurisdictions “pulling back the curtain” on private corporations, with plans to impose its own rules for registering beneficial ownership (the “Ontario Rules”). With the Ontario Rules set to come into force on January 1, 2023, the province will likely “leapfrog” the Federal Government.