by Bryan C. Haynes of Bennett Jones LLP
Previously published in the Canadian Lawyer magazine
Most jurisdictions in Canada require the unanimous consent of all shareholders, including nonvoting shareholders, in order for a nondistributing corporation to dispense with an audit. The requirement is absolute and mandatory — there are no other exemptions or qualifications. The public policy rationale behind the rule is laudable; however, the implementation in practice can be austere. It is time to revisit the universal audit requirement as it applies to nondistributing corporations.