The Ontario government released its 2017 budget on April 27, and financial sector reform featured prominently.

In particular, the government plans to examine the feasibility of a universal best interest duty in Ontario, and introduce legislation that would enable self-regulatory organizations to enforce disciplinary orders through the courts.

Perhaps the most unexpected aspect of the budget, however, is the pledge to transfer the oversight of syndicated mortgages from the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) to the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC). The Ontario government is also in the process of establishing investment limits and expanding risk disclosure requirements, amongst other things, with respect to syndicated mortgages.

The implications of this transfer of regulatory oversight of syndicated mortgages to the OSC are unknown at this time, but we will be following this development closely. Stay tuned.