Public companies are being pushed to disclose more about their lobbying activity and political contributions by the Shareholder Association for Research & Education (SHARE), the Vancouver-based non-profit organization announced on Tuesday.
Canadian National Railway Co., Goldcorp Inc., and Cenovus Energy Inc. have agreed to step up disclosure about their political activity after SHARE filed shareholder proposals on the issue, SHARE reports.
The non-profit adds that it’s engaged in private discussions with other companies to provide shareholders with more information.
“Shareholders have an interest in knowing how their companies invest in influencing public policy,” SHARE says in a statement.
In response to SHARE proposals, CN, Goldcorp, and Cenovus pledged to enhance their disclosure about their lobbying efforts and campaign contributions. Additionally, Cenovus decided to stop making political contributions.
SHARE says that it’s continuing to work to improve political spending disclosure in the Canadian market. “First and foremost, the public has a right to know who’s actively influencing lawmakers and on what issues,” says Kevin Thomas, director of shareholder engagement at SHARE, in a statement.
“But shareholders have an additional interest in knowing how their company’s management is using resources and whether those activities create unnecessary risk for their investment portfolio,” he adds. “These companies have agreed that strong oversight and transparency are an important part of good corporate governance, and have taken the lead in providing both for their shareholders.”