In its autumn update, the Ontario government reiterated that it plans to develop legislation to regulate financial planners in Ontario to “ensure that consumers have access to high-quality financial planning services that will benefit their long-term financial well-being”. The government proposes that financial planners would be required to meet certain proficiency requirements, and the use of financial planning titles would be restricted to address “consumer confusion created by the wide variety of titles used in the industry”. The Ontario government has indicated that it will consult extensively with stakeholders in developing the proposed framework.
The Ontario government also affirmed its commitment towards strengthening protections for investors in syndicated mortgages. The government proposes to expand requirements to ensure that mortgage brokerages provide investors with adequate information to effectively assess the risk level of investing in syndicated mortgage products. The government indicated that it is currently reviewing feedback received through consultations over the last few months on potential changes to regulations under the Mortgage Brokerages, Lenders and Administrators Act, 2006 that, if enacted, would impose investment limits on syndicated mortgage products to address the government’s investment concentration concerns for retail investors, and require mortgage brokerages to document suitability assessments for clients to ensure these products are only offered to investors who can tolerate a high degree of risk. The Ontario government also plans to propose amendments to the Securities Act (Ontario) to facilitate the transfer of regulatory oversight of syndicated mortgage investments from the Financial Services Commission of Ontario to the securities regulator.