Today, we joined over 20 organizations and individuals to call on the Government of Canada to commit to creating a public registry of the beneficial ownership of companies and trusts, and to make that registry available in open data format.
The main thrust of the effort was to tackle the elaborate corporate structures that hide secret companies and ensure that Canada does not become a haven for money launderers and tax evaders. By taking action, Canada has an opportunity to play a leading role in the fight against corruption, money laundering and tax evasion by shedding light on beneficial ownership.
Another reason we joined this effort is because this data is important for the nonprofit sector. A public registry of companies and trusts would also include nonprofit and social sector organizations, and as a result would lead to two benefits for the sector:
1) Provide data that advances our ability to understand and analyze the sector but also increases the availability of the raw data that spurs social innovation, and the development of additional apps and web services to support the sector.
2) Maintain the high-level of public trust towards the Canadian nonprofit sector by increasing the transparency of the connections between individuals and organizations.