On June 20, 2016, the Autorité des marchés financiers (the “AMF”), Quebec’s financial services regulatory authority, launched its Whistleblower Program. Individuals who have information about offences that have been committed contrary to the laws and regulations administered by the AMF, including the Securities Act, the Derivatives Act and others, may report such wrongdoing under the Whistleblower Program.
The major features of the program are:
- Confidentiality – The AMF makes every effort to keep the whistleblower’s identity and the information they provide confidential;
- No reprisal – An employer is prohibited from firing, demoting or otherwise adversely affecting the whistleblower’s employment;
- Immunity – A civil suit cannot be brought against a whistleblower for the information they report; and
- No rewards – The AMF will not provide financial rewards for information that leads to a conviction.
The AMF announced its decision not to offer financial rewards in February. The AMF compared the systems of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the Ontario Securities Commission, which offer financial rewards, and the systems of the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority and the Australian Securities and Investment Commission, which do not. The AMF concluded that it cannot be established with certainty that financial incentives generate higher quality reporting. The protection of confidentiality, according to the AMF, is the primary motivation for whistleblowers to report incidents.
More information regarding the Whistleblower Program can be found on the AMF’s website.