An issuer filing a prospectus, listing its securities on a Canadian stock exchange or acquiring a Canadian reporting issuer through a share exchange transaction, will become a “reporting issuer,” and thereby become subject to various continuous and timely disclosure obligations. These include the requirement to prepare and file quarterly and annual financial statements and the related management’s discussion and analysis, as well as an annual information form and reports with respect to material changes in the affairs of the issuer. Directors, officers and other “insiders” of the issuer will be required to file reports with respect to any trading they conduct in securities of the issuer and will be precluded from trading in the issuer’s securities if they possess any material non-public information about the issuer. Management information circulars must be prepared for annual and special shareholder meetings and must contain prescribed disclosure, including comprehensive disclosure on executive compensation in the case of annual general meetings or other meetings where directors will be elected or executive compensation will be voted on.
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Foreign issuers that meet certain conditions and have become reporting issuers in Canada, whether by listing on a Canadian exchange or by acquiring a Canadian reporting issuer through a share exchange transaction, may generally satisfy their ongoing continuous disclosure obligations in Canada by filing their home jurisdiction documents.
The CSA has adopted various instruments modeled on U.S. Sarbanes-Oxley legislation. These include a national instrument on auditor oversight, a national instrument requiring CEO and CFO certifications and a national instrument on audit committees. In addition, a national instrument and a national policy have been adopted on corporate governance. The latter sets out guidelines for corporate governance; the former requires issuers to disclose, on an annual basis, their corporate governance practices.
Canadian and U.S. securities regulatory authorities have implemented a multi-jurisdictional disclosure system (MJDS) that enables securities of large U.S. issuers to be offered to the public in Canada using a U.S. registration statement that has been reviewed only by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Corporations with securities listed on a Canadian stock exchange are subject to the rules and regulations of that exchange.