But Bill C-25 bans only the issuance of new bearer shares, said Claire Woodside, director of Publish What You Pay (PWYP) Canada.
“What this bill doesn’t do is require individuals holding bearer shares to register those shares,” said Woodside. “This means that bearer shares being held in the hands of a criminal can still be traded as currency.”
In order to ferret out the bearer shares in circulation, PWYP and Transparency International Canada recommend the government require anyone with a bearer share who attempts to vote or collect a dividend to convert it into a registered share.
“It essentially removes the value of bearer shares because you’d have to register them to use them,” Woodside said.
Even if bearer shares were fully banned, this wouldn’t close the door for tax evaders, corrupt politicians and organized crime to continue to snow wash their money using Canadian companies, said Woodside.
“C-25 doesn’t really tackle the problem of