COVID-19: Governance, Risk Implications, and the Role of the Board

I was pleased to be Moderator for this important session held on Friday March 20, 2020 @ 10:00-11:30am EST, hosted by the Governance Professionals of Canada. What are the risks facing businesses? What is the level of preparedness organizations should have, and what questions should boards ask? Now is a time for directors to avoid the weeds and carefully craft questions focussing on the key strategic issues. How should you govern, recognizing the steps prescribed for Canadian businesses in “An open letter from business leaders on limiting coronavirus’s spread” (March 17, 2020 Globe and Mail). Click below for a recording of this important Webinar, and to review the Open Letter from Business Leaders.

GPC Webcast: Covid-19: Governance, Risk Implications, and the Role of the Board
Friday, March 20th – 10:00 AM – 11:30 AM EDT   Click Here for a Recording of the Event   COVID-19 has taken the world by storm. As this outbreak continues, we are seeing changes to the framework of organizations nation-wide. As this situation continues to evolve, governance professionals and Boards need information now to understand how to navigate the challenges ahead. Join us for an important conversation to address key questions and concerns on:  
-Preparing an enterprise risk process and contingency plan as this crisis situation develops
-Questions the Board should be asking
-Assessing critical risks;
-developing action and control plans
-Monitoring changes and streamlining reporting
-Communication with stakeholders, reputation and managing the optics for your organization  

Panel:   Moderator: Stephen J. Mallory, ICD.D, FCIP, CRM President, Directors Global Risk Consulting Inc./Advisor Benson Kearley IFG.
M.E. (Peggy) Gilmour CPA, CA, CRMA, ICD.D
Board Chair, Institute of Internal Auditors
Andrew MacDougall  Partner, Corporate, Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP  
Andrew Poprawa, CPA, CA, C. Dir., CGFM Former President & CEO, Deposit Insurance Corporation of Ontario 
Shona McGlashan , Vice-President, Governance, Vancity   

An open letter from business leaders on limiting coronavirus’s spread

On March 17, 2020, many of Canada’s top businesses published a letter in the Globe and Mail, defining for all enterprises in the country the steps that should be taken.

The Globe and Mail · 17 Mar 2020

The organizations and employers we represent compete fiercely every day. Today we stand united in a shared battle against COVID-19.

We urge every leader in the country to immediately shift focus to the singular objective of slow­ing the pace of transmission of this coronavirus.

International experience demonstrates that social distancing is the only effective method, and is in the best interests of our employees, their families and our communities.

While this will have significant economic impact on our businesses in the short term, it is criti­cal to weathering this storm and will hasten the recovery.

Governments across the country have acted yet these measures will only be effective if all em­ployers step up and do their part to protect the nation’s health and welfare.

The undersigned have taken important steps and urge your organizations to join us:

Urge your employees to stop all non-essential travel, whether for personal or business reasons. Travel exposes people to infection, increasing risk for their personal and professional contacts. Enable your employees to practise social distancing. Facilitate work-from-home for all non­critical business functions. Work with government, if necessary, to ensure sick pay for workers. Cancel any in-person gatherings or events. Ensure that mental-health services are in place to support those in need during a period of social isolation.

Maintain essential services to Canadians. In co-ordination with government, develop clear guidelines to protect the health of employees who provide critical services to the public. Understand that your employees are looking to you for leadership and trusted information in turbulent times. Share trusted advice from public health agencies and communicate consis­tently and clearly with your employees. Recap the latest guidance and show them what you’re doing to support it.

On behalf of all of us, including millions of colleagues and employees, thank you to all health­care workers on the front lines on whom we are relying to help us through this emergency. We have enormous respect and gratitude for your efforts.

Wendy Andrushko – President,

DuPont Canada

Ayman Antoun – President, IBM Canada

John Baker – President and chief executive officer, D2L

Scott Balfour – President and CEO, Emera

Mark Barrenechea – Vice-chair and CEO, Open Text

Kevin Beingessner – CEO, Coril Holdings

Scott Bell – President and managing director, General Motors of Canada

Kilian Berz – Managing director and senior partner, the Boston Consulting Group

Mirko Bibic – President and CEO, BCE Inc. and Bell Canada Charles

Brindamour – CEO, Intact Financial

John Chen – Executive chairman and CEO, BlackBerry

Neil Chrystal – President and CEO, Polygon Homes

Donald Clow – President and CEO, Crombie REIT

Dean Connor – President and CEO, Sun Life

Guy Cormier – President and CEO, Desjardins Group

Ben Cowan-Dewar – Co-founder and managing director, Cabot Links

Keith Creel – President and CEO, Canadian Pacific Railway Stephan Crétier – President &

CEO, Gardaworld

Neil Cunningham – CEO and president, Public Sector Pension Investment Board (PSP)

Rola Dagher – President, Cisco Systems Canada

Thomas d’Aquino – Founding CEO, Business Council of Canada Dennis Darby – President and

CEO, Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters

Dax Dasilva – CEO, Lightspeed POS

Daniel Daviau – President and CEO, Canaccord Genuity Group Marc de La Bruyère – Manag-

ing director, Maclab Development Group

Charles Deguire – President, CEO & co-founder, Kinova

Paul Desmarais III – Chairman and CEO, Sagard Holdings

Paul Desmarais Jr. – Chair, Power Corp. of Canada

Victor Dodig – President and CEO, CIBC

Ian C. Dundas – CEO, Enerplus Ian Edwards – President and CEO, SNC-Lavalin

Charles Emond – President and CEO, Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ)

Dawn Farrell – President and CEO, TransAlta Corp.

David Filipchuk – President and

CEO, PCL Constructors

Chris Fowler – President & CEO, CWB Financial Group

Gordon J. Fyfe – CEO, British Columbia Investment Management Corporation

Louis Gagnon – President, Mercer U.S. and Canada

Sabrina Geremia – Country director, Google Canada

Russ Girling – President and CEO, TC Energy

Tim Gitzel – President and CEO, Cameco

Blake Goldring – Executive chairman, AGF Management


Roy Gori – President and CEO, Manulife Financial

Christine Healy – President and CEO, Total E&P Canada Andrew Hider – CEO, ATS Automa-

tion Tooling Systems

Blake Hutcheson – President, OMERS

Goldy Hyder – President and CEO, Business Council of Canada Gord Johnston – President and

CEO, Stantec

Michael Katchen – Founder and CEO, Wealthsimple

Faisal Kazi – President and CEO, Siemens Canada

Hassan Khosrowshahi – Chairman, Persis Holdings Ltd.

Jeff Kinnaird – President, Home Depot of Canada

Patrick Lamarre – President, Kiewit Canada Group

Michael Latimer – CEO, OMERS Don Lindsay – President and CEO, Teck Resources

Stephen Liptrap – President and CEO, Morneau Shepell

Mark Little – President and CEO, Suncor Energy

Jon Love – CEO, KingSett Capital Marcelo Lu – President, BASF Canada

Elio Luongo – CEO and senior partner, Canada KPMG LLP Mark Machin President and CEO,

CPP Investments

Chuck Magro – President and CEO, Nutrien

Nicolas Marcoux – CEO and senior partner, PwC Canada Bharat Masrani – Group President

and CEO, TD Bank Michael McCain – President and CEO, Maple Leaf Foods

Mike McDerment – Co-founder and CEO, Freshbooks

David McKay – President and CEO, Royal Bank of Canada Gordon McKenzie – President and

CEO, Canpotex Ltd.

John McKenzie – Interim CEO, TMX

Al Monaco – President and CEO, Enbridge

Andrew Moor – President and CEO, Equitable Bank

Doug Murphy – President and CEO, Corus Entertainment

Joe Natale – President and CEO, Rogers Communications

Jeffrey Orr President and CEO, Power Corp. of Canada

Rob Peabody – CEO, Husky Energy

Kevin Peesker – President, Microsoft Canada

John Peller – Chairman and CEO, Andrew Peller Limited

Rob Penner – President and CEO, Bison Transport

Cole Pinnow – President, Pfizer Canada

Sam Pollock – CEO, Brookfield Infrastructure Partners

Brian Porter – President and CEO, Scotiabank

Alex Pourbaix – President and CEO, Cenovus Energy

Ricardo Prosperi – President, Canada Tenaris

Dani Reiss – President and CEO, Canada Goose

Michael Rencheck – President and CEO, Bruce Power

Hartley Richardson – President and CEO, James Richardson & Sons Ltd.

John Risley – Chairman and CEO, CFFI Ventures

Jean-Jacques Ruest – President and CEO, CN Rail

Jeffrey Russell – President, Canada, and senior managing director, Accenture

Steve Sammut – President and CEO, Rocky Mountaineer

Lino Saputo, Jr. – Chairman and CEO, Saputo

George Schindler – President and CEO, CGI Group

Sam Sebastian – CEO, Pelmorex Corp.

Bradley Shaw – CEO, Shaw Communications

Jad Shimaly – Chairman and CEO, EY Canada

Ian D. Smith – CEO, Clearwater Seafoods

Geoff Smith – President and

CEO, Ellis Don

Stephen Smith – Chairman and CEO, First National Financial David Smith – CEO, Keyera

Corp. Nancy Southern – Chair and CEO, ATCO Ltd.

Ronald Stern – President and CEO, Alberta Newsprint Company

Sandra Stuart – Group general manager, president and CEO, HSBC Bank Canada

John Sullivan – President and CEO, The Cadillac Fairview Corp.

Garrick Tiplady – Managing director, Facebook and Instagram Canada

Guy Turcotte – Founder, president and CEO, Stone Creek Resorts

Louis Vachon – President and CEO, National Bank of Canada Nicole Verkindt – Founder and


Anthony Viel – Managing Partner and CEO, Deloitte Canada Galen Weston – Executive chair-

man, Loblaw Cos. Ltd.

Darryl White – CEO, BMO Financial Group

Penny Wise – President, 3M Canada

Mark Wiseman – Founder,


Mary Ann Yule – President and

CEO, HP Canada

Jeff Zweig – President and CEO, Mosaic Forest Management

Source: Globe and Mail, March 17, 2020

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