The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) recently published its Statement of Priorities for the financial year to end March 31, 2016.  The Statement of Priorities follows the draft Statement of Priorities published on April 2, 2015.  The Statement of Priorities, published annually by the OSC, offers stakeholders a glimpse into the OSC’s goals for the forthcoming year. 

Importantly, the OSC intends make significant progress in the regulation of derivatives-related matters in 2015-2016.  For example, it intends to publish for comment a national instrument which would regulate the registration of derivatives dealers.  The OSC also intends to develop rules for the clearing of OTC derivatives and a notice that outlines recommendations for the implementation of segregation and portability (other than for OTC derivatives).

Some other notable goals for the OSC are as follows:

  • Completing a disclosure review in connection with the representation of women on boards and publishing the results of that disclosure review by the end of this financial year;
  • Developing and publishing rules to foster capital-raising in Ontario, including rules with respect to an offering memorandum prospectus exemption, a crowdfunding prospectus exemption, a modernized prospectus exempt rights offering framework and new reporting requirements for prospectus exempt financings;
  • Publishing final changes to update the order protection rule framework;
  • Developing a regulatory plan, with IIROC, that addresses certain key issues identified in its fixed income review; and
  • Continuing to monitor developments with respect to say-on-pay in Canada and determining whether it is necessary to incorporate say-on-pay in securities regulation.

In response to a comment on the OSC’s draft Statement of Priorities from stakeholders, the OSC confirmed that environmental, social and governance disclosure in Canada is not included as a priority because companies already have an obligation to disclose material environmental and governance issues.

More broadly, the OSC cited the following as overarching regulatory goals: (i) delivering strong investor protection; (ii) delivering responsive regulation; (iii) delivering effective compliance and enforcement; (iv) promoting financial stability and mitigating systemic risk through effective oversight and supervision of capital markets and key infrastructure entities; and (v) being an innovative, accountable and efficient organization and demonstrating accountability.

For further information, please consult OSC Notice 11-772 - Notice of Statement of Priorities for the Financial Year to End March 31, 2016.