Jantzi and Lachance to help Canadian supervisors review sustainability standards

Move comes just days after Kathy Bardswick is named chair of new Sustainable Finance Action Council

Canada’s accounting and auditing supervisors have appointed responsible investment experts to help them assess the role of sustainability standards – just days after the creation of a Sustainable Finance Action Council in the country. 

The eight-strong Independent Review Committee on Standard Setting includes well-known figures such as Sustainalytics CEO Michael Jantzi, and Stéphanie Lachance, the head of responsible investment at C$169bn (€114bn) manager Public Sector Pension Investments.

The group has been convened by the Accounting Standards Oversight Council (AcSOC) and Auditing and Assurance Standards Oversight Council (AASOC) – both created in the early 2000s to oversee Canada’s standard setters and ensure the quality of financial reporting and auditing in the country’s private sector. It will undertake a broad review of national standard setting practices over the next year, according to a statement

Canada’s former Deputy Minister of Finance, Paul Rochon, who stepped down from his position in Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Government in December, is also named as a member. 

"It is an appropriate time to review the current standard-setting structure and governance to ensure it will meet future needs in such areas as environmental, social and governance reporting," said AASOC’s Chair, Kevin Nye. 

The committee will make recommendations, which will be put to public consultation before being finalised.

Members of the committee, include:

  • Edward J. Waitzer (Chair) – lawyer, specialising in public policy and governance matters
  • Michael Jantzi, CEO, Sustainalytics
  • Stéphanie Lachance, Managing Director, Responsible Investment, PSP Investments
  • Paul Rochon, Deputy Minister of Finance (2014-2020)
  • Marie-Soleil Tremblay, Professor of Accounting, École nationale d'administration publique
  • Sonia A. Baxendale, President and CEO, Global Risk Institute
  • John A. Gordon, Retired Managing Partner, Quality & Risk Management, KPMG
  • Geordie Hungerford, CEO, First Nations Financial Management Board

Earlier this week, Canada’s federal government announced its long-awaited Sustainable Finance Action Council, which will be chaired by former Cooperators Group and Addenda Capital CEO Kathy Bardswick. 

Bardswick is currently the President of the Canadian Institute for Climate Choices – a new think tank that engages with policymakers, scientists and the private sector on the transition to a low-carbon economy. 

The council will steer sustainable finance policy in the country, and was originally announced in November as part of the federal government’s Fall Economic Statement. Other members to the group are yet to be announced. 

The government first announced plans for the group back in November, allocating it C$7.3m in its Fall Economic Statement. The funding would cover three years, in which the group would help develop “a well-functioning sustainable finance market in Canada”. 

“The Action Council will make recommendations on critical market infrastructure needed to attract and scale sustainable finance in Canada, including enhancing climate disclosures, ensuring access to useful data on sustainability and climate risks, and developing standards for investments to be identified as sustainable,” it added.