Activist shareholder approach to social change?
Its been a national and provincial embarassment to see the Canadian Forces required to assist in long term care facilities. But worse was what they found, that some of the homes appear to be not merely overrun by a surge of complexity due to Covid-19, but instead are systematically under-regulated, under-managed, under-governed.
I’m going to propose another approach. The activist shareholder approach. Those who hold shares in the companies can create a shareholder resolution, something along the lines of:
… Boilderplate about when/where/corporation
Therefore, it was resolved, that the corporation shall:
* have the executive leadership team visit a random 25% of long-term care homes each quarter,
* have the independent board of directors visit a different random 10% of long-term care homes each quarter
* that the board certify that the standard of care present matches their expectation as set out in governance policy
* that the audit committee of the board certify that they have audited the management policies and procedures
* that the executive leadership team certify that their policies and procedures are being executed according to the laws and regulations of the province, in addition to their internal controls and, that this certification be made publicly available including at a live press-conference with members of the public press.
If we want to get started, a good spot would be Sienna, publicly traded. The board of directors of Sienna is listed here. The senior leadershio team is listed here. I am willing to guess that those folks would be very diligent in their duties to their stakeholders (their patients, their families, their shareholders, their staff, the community) if they were certifying publicly that they had done so.
I understand that some of these companies have refused to answer questions to the media. Thus the shareholder resolution route could be a good one.
I would also argue that all taxpayers are now de-factor shareholders in the companies that are receiving assistance.
If you want to see the type of agreement that is entred into legally, look here, this is the one for Rykka Care Centres for Hamliton, and here is the one for Missisauga, they operate some of the homes at the heart of the report.