OSC taking action to reduce regulatory burden for Ontario market participants

The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) published OSC Staff Notice 11-784: Burden Reduction, which outlines plans to broadly consult Ontario market participants on ways to further reduce regulatory burden and improve the investor experience.

“We are launching a wide-ranging consultation, with the support of our government, to identify new actions we can take to save time and money for Ontario businesses by eliminating rules and requirements that are outdated or unduly burdensome,” said Maureen Jensen, Chair and CEO of the OSC. “Our markets and businesses are better able to compete, innovate and flourish when we lighten the regulatory load, while maintaining strong protections for Ontario investors.”

Key areas of focus for the OSC’s consultation include but are not limited to: Operational changes, rules that may have become outdated or unnecessary, and opportunities to streamline and improve disclosure provided to investors, who ultimately bear the cost of unnecessary or outdated regulations.

The consultation follows the OSC’s November 2018 establishment of a Burden Reduction Task Force, which has a mandate to consider and act on suggestions to eliminate unnecessary rules and processes while protecting investors and the integrity of Ontario’s capital markets. This initiative also builds on the OSC’s efforts, since 2016, to reduce regulatory burden across the country through its ongoing work with the Canadian Securities Administrators on projects to reduce burden in public markets and in the investment fund space.    

The OSC encourages interested stakeholders to submit written comments on new initiatives that it should consider to reduce regulatory burden by March 1, 2019. OSC Staff Notice 11-784 can be found on the OSC’s website and includes specific consultation questions.

As part of its consultation, the OSC will hold a roundtable on March 27, 2019, to discuss suggestions received during the comment period. Anyone interested in participating in the roundtable should submit a comment letter to the OSC and indicate a desire to participate.  

Additional details regarding the roundtable, including an agenda and list of participants, will be published on the OSC’s website in the coming weeks.

After considering all suggestions received, along with input from ongoing external consultations and from its ten advisory committees, the OSC will identify a series of short, medium and long-term actions to reduce regulatory burden.

The mandate of the OSC is to provide protection to investors from unfair, improper or fraudulent practices, to foster fair and efficient capital markets and confidence in the capital markets, and to contribute to the stability of the financial system and the reduction of systemic risk.  Investors are urged to check the registration of any persons or company offering an investment opportunity and to review the OSC investor materials available at http://www.osc.gov.on.ca.