Religious Investors
Proxy Season Round-up

As Proxy Season begins to wind down, we are excited to share some of the key milestones from this year's votes.
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Canadian religious shareholder proposals win significant shareholder support

Solar panel manufacturer refuses to circulate Catherine Donnelly Foundation proposal, then commits to independent review of forced labour allegations.

Shareholder proposals on labour rights, racial equity, and reconciliation, submitted by Canadian religious investors received strong shareholder support in May. In addition, two proposals⁠—one on racial equity in lending practices and one on reconciliation⁠—were withdrawn after reaching agreement with the companies at which they were filed. In a rare move, one company refused to circulate a shareholder proposal on forced labour, but subsequently agreed to take some of the steps requested in the proposal. The proposals were the result of SHARE’s on-going engagement with companies on behalf of institutional investors, including 20 religious organizations.

☰ Vote outcomes by impact

Labour rights 

A Catherine Donnelly Foundation shareholder proposal on labour rights at Amazon received an astounding 47% support from independent shareholders at the company’s AGM on May 25, 2022.

The proposal asked Amazon’s board of directors to review how the company responds to union organizing efforts and ensure alignment with its commitment to International Labour Organization conventions on freedom of association and collective bargaining. The Foundation’s proposal won support from North America’s largest pension plans, including the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board.

Racial equity 

A United Church of Canada Pension Plan proposal at Constellation Software asking the company to report on efforts to ensure racial equity in its operations received 63% support from shareholders. Walmart shareholders will vote on June 1, 2022 on a racial equity proposal filed by the Loretto Sisters.

The United Church Canada endowment filed a shareholder proposal at property and casualty insurance provider Intact Financial Corporation calling on the company to conduct a third-party racial equity audit. The proposal was withdrawn after an agreement was reached with the company.  


Four proposals on reconciliation were filed by investors working with SHARE, including the Daly Foundation and the Catherine Donnelly Foundation. The proposal called on companies to adopt the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and apply it to corporate policy and core operations. The Daly Foundation withdrew its proposal at IA Financial after reaching agreement with the company. Daly Foundation Director of Finance Desmond Wilson spoke to the issue at the IA Financial AGM.

Catherine Donnelly Foundation placed a similar proposal on the ballot at Onex but no agreement was reached and the proposal went to a vote on May 12, garnering support from almost 50% of independent shareholders.  

Forced labour 

After extensive efforts to engage with Canadian Solar, this March, SHARE, on behalf of the Catherine Donnelly Foundation, filed a shareholder proposal at Canadian Solar Inc. calling for an independent assessment of the company’s policies and procedures to protect against forced labour. The Canadian Solar case was discussed in detail at the March 2022 religious investor caucus. The proposal highlighted the significant gaps between the company’s human rights due diligence practices and credible allegations of forced labour in the company’s supply chains in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. 

After the company took the rare move of excluding the proposal from its 2022 proxy, SHARE has been mobilizing other investors to call on the company to increase transparency and take action. See coverage in The Globe and Mail and Toronto Star.

The company subsequently agreed to undertake a third-party investigation, although has yet to provide any details. 

☰ News & publications of interest

For more information about SHARE’s Religious Investor Network, contact Peter Chapman, Senior Advisor at
Suite 510 – 1155 Robson Street, Vancouver, BC V6E 1B5
Suite 257 – 401 Richmond Street West, Toronto, ON  M5V 3A8

SHARE’s Vancouver office is located on the unceded territory of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations.

SHARE's Toronto office is located on the territories of the Mississaugas of the Credit, Anishnabeg, Chippewa, Haudenosaunee and Wendat peoples.

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