On February 18, 2016, after a thorough and rigorous analysis
which included closely monitoring the rewards-based whistleblower
programs offered by the
Ontario, the Autorité des marchés financiers (the
AMF) announced that it does not intend to offer financial rewards
to whistleblowers. Instead, the AMF wishes to promote a
whistleblower program that builds on existing measures.
"We are convinced that this protection, combined with
anti-retaliation measures, as part of a structured, well-publicized
program, will have a definite impact on the quantity and quality of
wrongdoing reports made to the AMF, without the need for a
reward," said Jean-François Fortin, Executive Director,
On June 16, 2016, the Ontario Securities Commission issued a
press release announcing the launch of its whistleblower program
and appointed the Chief of the Office of the Whistleblower. The
Ontario approach will be based on rewards (up to $5,000,000),
confidentiality and anti-retaliation provisions, in exchange for
information that will lead to the success of the law's
Two days ago, on June 20, 2016, the AMF in turn put its words
into action by officially launching its Whistleblower Program.
Contrary to Ontario, the AMF will build on an approach based
strictly on confidentiality, anti-reprisal measures and anonymity
for whistleblowers who denounce violations of AMF laws. The AMF
persists in rejecting a rewards-based system. According to the AMF,
there is no guarantee that a financial incentive generates more
quality whistleblowing and the true key aspect of any whistleblower
program is the protection offered to whistleblowers.
"Individuals who want to give us certain information but
have hesitated for fear of reprisals can now turn to the AMF's
Whistleblower Program. We invite them to use our secure
whistleblower channel, which ensures that the information we
receive is handled thoroughly and confidentially. Our specialized
team is ready to guide whistleblowers throughout the process and
ensure extra protection in the course of ensuing investigations and
legal proceedings," said Louis Morisset, AMF President and
Notably, the AMF's website states that whistleblowers will
benefit from informer privilege as well as immunity against
possible civil suits. The AMF intends to work with the
Québec government to propose anti-reprisal measures in
financial sector legislation.
Finally, the AMF invites whistleblowers to use the Whistleblower
Information Form available on the website to ensure quick,
efficient and confidential treatment of the information by the
whistleblower program staff. On the form, the whistleblower must
include his/her contact information and communicate the contact
details of the company and/or individuals targeted by the
whistleblowing. The whistleblower must also describe the situation
he/she wishes to bring to the attention of the AMF, including the
relevant information and the reasons for which he/she is reporting
this situation. Finally, the whistleblower may enclose any
documents he/she deems relevant.
It will be interesting to see whether the protection offered by
this whistleblower program will in fact have an impact on the
amount of quality whistleblowing, given that, contrary to Ontario
and the United States, it does not provide any financial
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