Canada: Ontario Securities Commission Identifies Priority Areas For 2018-2019 And Reports On Prior Year

Each year the Ontario Securities Commission (the "OSC") outlines its priorities for the upcoming year and reports on the success of the previous year's priorities. These priority areas identify where the OSC intends to focus its resources and actions.  Related to this, the OSC has released its 2018-2019 Statement of Priorities (the "Statement of Priorities") and the 2017-2018 Statement of Priorities Report Card (the "Priorities Report Card"). There was significant overlap between the two periods, with 13 of the priorities from 2017-2018 being carried over in the Statement of Priorities and only two new priorities being added. The priorities identified for 2018-2019 are discussed below.

Deliver strong investor protection

1.    Regulatory reforms that address the best interests of the client: This priority is aimed at improving the relationship between clients and registrants by introducing reforms that promote the best interest of client (known as the "best interest standard"). In 2017 and 2018, the OSC (among others) took steps to address this, which included obtaining input from stakeholders and publishing CSA Staff Notice 33-319  –  Status Report on CSA Consultation Paper (CP) 33-404 Proposals to Enhance the Obligations of Advisers, Dealers, and Representatives Toward Their Clients. For the upcoming year, the OSC plans to publish amendments to National Instrument 31-103 – Registration Requirements, Exemptions & Ongoing Registrant Obligations ("NI 31-103") and develop plans to advance remaining reforms. Proposed amendments to NI 31-103 are currently open for comment (see our blog post here discussing these proposed amendments).  

2.    Address embedded commissions: This initiative intends to level the playing field for investors by addressing embedded commissions that may incentivise advisors to recommend certain funds that benefit the advisor over the investor. In the past year, the OSC, in conjunction with the Canadian Securities Administrators (the "CSA"), conducted roundtables for stakeholder input on Consultation Paper 81-408 – Consultation on the Option of Discontinuing Embedded Commissions ("CP 81-408"). For the 2018-2019 year, the OSC plans to advance CP 81-408.

3.    Advance retail investor protection, engagement and education: Emphasis on the importance of delivering policy, education and research initiatives through the OSC Investor Office, particularly addressed at senior citizens, is addressed in both the Priorities Report Card and the Statement of Priorities. In 2018, the OSC published OSC Staff Notice 11-779 – Seniors Strategy, which addresses the investment issues of older investors. The OSC, through the OSC Investor Office, plans to continue the OSC Seniors Strategy as well as other education and outreach programs.

Deliver effective compliance, supervision and enforcement

4.    Compliance with regulation: The OSC continues to prioritize protecting investors by upholding strong standards of compliance with regulation. Compliance initiatives are targeted through the use of data and reviews to focus on high risk areas. In 2017, a notable accomplishment under this initiative was the publishing of Multilateral Instrument 91-102 – Prohibition of Binary Options. The OSC has indicated in its Statement of Priorities that it will continue to conduct targeted compliance reviews focused on new registrants and high risk, problematic, and large/high impact firms.

5.    Enforcement initiatives: Efforts under this initiative involve a focus on deterrence through timely and consequential enforcement actions. Highlights of the last fiscal year include managing more than 185 whistleblower tips under the OSC Whistleblower Program and a review of the use of restrictive agreements by registrants that attempted to preclude whistleblowing. The OSC plans to continue to leverage the Joint Serious Offences Team to identify serious breaches, focus prosecution efforts on serious, and raise awareness of the OSC Whistleblower Program.

Deliver responsive regulation

6.    Innovation (including Fintech): There continues to be innovation transforming the financial services industry and the OSC has acknowledged that regulation needs to keep up with digital innovation. OSC LaunchPad continues to be a key initiative under this priority to assist Fintech businesses with navigating the regulatory framework. The OSC will carry on its activities from the past year by focussing on engaging with the Fintech community, including through its OSC Fintech Advisory Committee. Some highlights from the past year include publishing CSA Staff Notice 46-307 – Cryptocurrency Offerings and CSA Staff Notice 46-308 – Securities Law Implications for Offerings of Tokens, which provide additional guidance on the securities law requirements that may apply to cryptocurrency offerings. See our previous blog posts on the guidance issued in 2018 here and the 2017 guidance here.

7.    Investor protection for syndicated mortgage investments: The OSC is working with the Ontario government and the Financial Services Commission of Ontario to implement changes to the oversight of syndicated mortgages. On March 8, 2018, amendments to National Instrument 45-106 – Prospectus Exemptions and NI 31-103 were published for comment with the aim of harmonizing the regulatory approach taken across CSA jurisdictions and to introduce additional investor protections in this area. The OSC and CSA are working towards finalizing these amendments by March 2019.

8.    Reduce regulatory burden: In April 2017, the CSA published Consultation Paper 51-404 – Considerations for Reducing Regulatory Burden for Non-Investment Fund Reporting Issuers and followed that in March 2018 with Staff Notice 51-353 – Update on Considerations for Reducing Regulatory Burden for Non-Investment Fund Reporting Issuers (see our previous post here summarizing the key areas of focus identified by the OSC). For the 2018-2019 year, the OSC is continuing to focus its efforts on reducing regulatory burdens while balancing investor protection. 

9.    Disclosure of women on boards and in executive officer positions (new priority): In 2017, the CSA posted its third annual review of gender diversity under the disclosure rules pursuant to National Instrument 58-101 – Disclosure of Corporate Governance Practices. This review indicated there has been slow progress over the previous three years in terms of gender diversity, with the overall percentage of board seats occupied by women sitting at 14%. For a detailed summary of this review, see our previous post here. As a result of the continued underrepresentation of women on boards and in executive officer positions, the OSC is going to assess the effectiveness of the current requirements and consider whether changes to the current regime are warranted.

10.  Monitor and assess impacts of recent regulatory initiatives: The OSC will evaluate the impact of recently implemented regulatory reforms to see whether expected results are being achieved. Specifically, the OSC will evaluate the Client Relationship Model (CRM2) and Point of Sale (POS) initiatives in participation with the CSA to see whether these projects have achieved their objective of enhancing investors' understanding of the costs and fees associated with investment products.

Promote financial stability through effective oversight

11.  Systemic risk oversight: This priority focuses on enhancing the identification and monitoring of emerging risks and understanding the key components of systemic risk. In 2017, both National Instrument 94-101 – Mandatory Central Counterparty Clearing of Derivatives as well as National Instrument 94-102 – Derivatives: Customer Clearing and Protection of Customer Collateral and Positions came into force. The OSC plans to address this priority in a variety of ways for the upcoming fiscal year, including enhancing the over-the-counter derivatives regulatory regime by publishing new rules surrounding derivatives and conducting compliance reviews. 

12.  Promote cybersecurity resilience: The OSC recognizes that cyberattacks, including data breaches, have the potential to disrupt our markets and market participants. The OSC plans to promote cyber resilience by collaborating with market participants and regulators and improving coordination in the case of cyberattack by finalizing a market protocol.

Be an innovative, accountable and efficient organization

13.  Develop a strategic OSC workforce approach focused on skill recruitment and development (new priority): This priority recognizes the need to develop the skills and experience of OSC staff to address current and emerging needs, which includes delivering targeted talent development programs, expanding staffing approaches and strengthening its succession planning.

14.  Enhance OSC business capabilities: The OSC plans to enhance its business capabilities by developing and implementing a comprehensive data strategy and enhancing its current e-filings portal.

15.  Transition of the OSC to the proposed Capital Markets Regulatory Authority ("CMRA"): In the Statement of Priorities, the OSC expressed its support for the CMRA and that it views it as an opportunity to improve investor protection, create more efficient rulemaking, and promote a globally competitive market in Canada. The CMRA is an initiative of the governments of British Columbia, New Brunswick, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Saskatchewan, Yukon and Canada designed to streamline the capital markets regulatory framework. For the upcoming year, the OSC will continue to work with participating jurisdictions and the proposed CMRA to develop a harmonized regulatory approach.

To view the original article please click here.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
In association with
Related Topics
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Related Articles
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Mondaq Free Registration
Gain access to Mondaq global archive of over 375,000 articles covering 200 countries with a personalised News Alert and automatic login on this device.
Mondaq News Alert (some suggested topics and region)
Select Topics
Registration (please scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of

To Use you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions