Canada: Unmasking the Anonymous Owners of Canadian Companies and Trusts

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August 2016

Transparency International’s 2015 analysis found that Canada’s performance was either “weak” or “very weak” in seven of the 10 G20 principles on beneficial ownership. In the past year, the government has tabled legislation to eliminate bearer shares (unregistered securities that are owned by whoever happens to physically hold the share certificate), but has otherwise made no measurable progress on any of the 10 principles. In September 2016 the Financial Action Task Force – the global anti-money laundering authority that informed the principles published an evaluation of Canada that was highly critical of the secrecy it affords to legal entities and arrangements. The task force called on the government to make beneficial ownership information accessible “as a matter of priority.”