On 14 July 2016, following considerable stakeholder consultation, the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) officially launched its new whistleblower programme, aimed at encouraging individuals to report information on serious securities misconduct to the OSC, or through an internal compliance and reporting system where available. This is a first for Canadian securities regulators.

The new programme offers financial rewards to those who voluntarily come forward with information provided that they satisfy certain eligibility criteria, and that the information submitted is of meaningful assistance to the OSC and results in monetary sanctions of C$1m or more. Upon final resolution of the matter, including any appeals, the OSC will provide an eligible whistleblower a monetary award of up to 15 percent of the total monetary sanctions imposed following a hearing or settlement, with caps of $1.5m and $5m depending on the amount of the monetary sanctions achieved.

Whistleblowers eligible for financial rewards include employees, former employees, officers, directors, chief compliance officers (or equivalent positions), in-house legal counsel, suppliers, contractors, clients and others. Importantly, individuals who participated in the misconduct reported are also eligible for a financial reward.

Oct-Dec 2016 issue

Lenczner Slaght