The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) will seek opportunities to reduce the regulatory burden on market participants while maintaining investor protections as one of the 14 priority areas further described in the OSC’s draft Statement of Priorities for 2017-2018, published on March 23, 2017. Organized under five regulatory goals, the Statement of Priorities outlines where the OSC intends to focus resources and actions for the coming year. The draft Statement of Priorities is open for comment until May 23, 2017.

The OSC’s five regulatory goals for 2017-2018 are consistent with those outlined in the past:

  • Deliver strong investor protection.
  • Deliver effective compliance, supervision and enforcement.
  • Deliver responsive regulation.
  • Promote financial stability through effective oversight.
  • Be an innovative, accountable and efficient organization.

Priorities for 2017-2018 include:

  • Publication of final proposals on regulatory reforms to define a best interest standard and improve the advisor/client relationship.
  • Definition of the regulatory action required to address embedded commissions, including conducting a stakeholder roundtable to examine the potential impacts of discontinuing embedded commissions in Canada and identifying appropriate transition measures.
  • Identification of opportunities to reduce regulatory burden on market participants while maintaining appropriate investor protections.
  • Maintenance of the effective oversight of registrants with a focus on new registrants, higher risk firms and emerging risks.
  • Monitoring the impact of recently implemented regulatory initiatives, including a targeted review of disclosure relating to women on board and in executive officer positions provided by issuers with financial years ending between December 31, 2016 and July 31, 2017.
  • Supporting innovation, capital formation and regulatory compliance for fintech businesses.
  • Promotion of cybersecurity through the continued assessment of market participant cybersecurity resilience and readiness.
  • Coordination with the Capital Markets Regulatory Authority for the transition of the OSC to the CMRA.
  • Active pursuit of timely and impactful enforcement cases involving serious securities law violations, including through raising awareness of the OSC Whistleblower Program and the greater use of technology.

The OSC will be accepting comments on the Statement of Priorities before May 23, 2017. For further information, please see OSC Notice 11-777 – Statement of Priorities - Request for Comments Regarding Statement of Priorities for Financial Year to End March 31, 2018 (March 23, 2017).