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  • Deborah

On July 9, the Ontario government published its Capital Markets Modernization Taskforce initial consultation report seeking feedback from various market participants, including asset managers, institutional investors, financial institutions, large and small publicly-listed companies, exchanges and capital market regulators.

The consultation report contains 47 policy proposals on:

  • Improving the current regulatory framework (e.g. governance of regulators)

  • Reducing regulatory burden (e.g. semi-annual reporting for publicly listed companies instead of quarterly reporting; introduction of an alternative offering model prospectus exemption for all reporting issuers, prohibition of short selling in connection with prospectus offerings and private placements)

  • Fostering innovation in capital markets (e.g. proposal to create an Ontario Regulatory Sandbox in order to benefit entrepreneurs and start-ups)

  • Ensuring a level playing-field for all market participants (e.g. amendment to National Instruments 31-103 to prohibit registrants, as a consequence of an exclusivity arrangement, from providing capital markets services under certain circumstances, improvement of corporate board diversity)

  • Reviewing the framework regarding Proxy System, Corporate Governance and M&A (e.g. proposal to decrease the ownership threshold for early warning reporting disclosure from 10 to 5 per cent, to adopt quarterly filing requirements for institutional investors of Canadian companies, to require enhanced disclosure of material environmental, social and governance (ESG) information, including forward-looking information, for TSX issuers)

  • Modernizing enforcement and improving investor protection (e.g. proposal to give the OSC additional tools to help improve the OSC’s collection of monetary sanctions, to increase the maximum for administrative monetary penalties to $5 million (vs $1 million), to broaden the confidentiality exceptions available for disclosing an investigation and examination order or a summons, to create a regulatory framework that allows for the designation by the OSC of a dispute resolution service, such as OBSI )

Interested parties must provide their comments by September 7, 2020. Responses provided will be taken into account for the development of the final report that will be submitted to the Minister of Finance.

The consultation report can be found here:

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