The Hon. Howard I. Wetston, Q.C.
2014 Catalyst Canada Honours Champion, Special Recognition—Board Diversity
Chair & CEO, Ontario Securities Commission
Howard Wetston has long believed in the importance of diversity in corporate boardrooms and senior management. As Chair & CEO of the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC), he leads by example, working alongside a team that includes a strong representation of women at the executive level and throughout the organization. Currently, 38% of the OSC’s Commissioners are women, as well as approximately 61% of its executive management team.
Most recently, Mr. Wetston has been a driving force behind a new OSC policy initiative to advance the representation of women on boards and in senior management of companies listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX). Under the initiative, proposed OSC amendments to National Instrument 58-101 Disclosure of Corporate Governance Practices would require all companies listed on the TSX that are reporting issuers in Ontario to disclose policy and practices regarding the representation of women on boards and in executive officer positions. The proposed disclosure requirements follow a “comply or explain” approach.
Mr. Wetston and the OSC have been working on this important initiative for some time, first issuing a consultation paper on the topic, and then engaging in discussions with senior business leaders. Throughout the OSC’s consultation process, Mr. Wetston has been an advocate and driving force for progress on this initiative.
“Corporate decision-making benefits from a diversity of opinions and viewpoints, and this initiative encourages companies to consider talented and capable resources that are currently under-utilized. More women, from all backgrounds, should have an opportunity to bring their skills, talents, and perspectives to boards and senior management. Inclusive representation is not only fair, it more accurately reflects the reality of our workforce, and the skills and talents of Ontarians.” – Howard Wetston
In addition to his duties as OSC Chair, Mr. Wetston is a Vice Chair of the Board of the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO). IOSCO is the leading international policy forum for securities regulators, and is recognized as setting the global standard for securities regulation. He was Chair & CEO of the Ontario Energy Board from 2003 to 2010, and a Vice-Chair of the OSC from 1999 to 2004.
Mr. Wetston is a respected public servant and a distinguished lawyer, jurist, regulator and executive. He is one of Canada’s most prominent leaders in administrative law and regulation, with deep expertise in securities, energy, competition and other regulated industries.