On January 14, 2019, the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) announced a public consultation campaign aimed at identifying ways to reduce unnecessary regulatory burden in the province's securities rules.

In the announcement, the OSC identified several areas on which it plans to focus its efforts:

  1. Operational/procedural changes that make market participants' day-to-day interaction with the OSC easier or less costly;
  2. Changes that provide greater certainty to market participants regarding regulatory requirements or outcomes;
  3. Eliminating, streamlining, or requiring less frequently certain forms or filings by market participants;
  4. Changes to the OSC's system of providing information to market participants;
  5. Harmonizing Ontario rules that are inconsistent with rules in other jurisdictions;
  6. Eliminating rules that no longer serve a valid purpose; and
  7. Streamlining/modernizing informational disclosure to investors by issuers and registrants (including promoting the use of plain language in disclosure).

Interested stakeholders are invited to submit written comments to the OSC (comments@osc.gov.on.ca) by March 1, 2019. The OSC will post submissions on its website and then convene a roundtable discussion on March 27, 2019.

The launch of the public comment campaign comes just a few months after the regulator announced the creation of a Burden Reduction Task Force in November 2018 to examine the issue. The OSC's regulatory burden reduction efforts support the Ontario government's Open for Business Action Plan under which the province aims to cut regulatory red tape by 25% in the next three years.