Topic: Other developments

Subscribe to Other developments RSS feed

OSC Continues Mediation Program on a Permanent Basis

On April 9, 2018, the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) announced that its Mediation Program, which began as a pilot program in May 2015, will be continuing on a permanent basis. The Mediation Program provides respondents represented by counsel, as well as enforcement staff, with the option to seek resolution through an independent third party mediator. … Continue reading

Not All’s Fair in Disgorgement and Fraud

On April 18, 2018, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice released its reasons in Ontario Securities Commission v. Bluestream Capital Corporation which is a useful illustration of the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC)’s power to garnish funds held by victims of investment fraud that are payable as debts to the perpetrator of the fraud. The Background … Continue reading

Civil Forfeiture in the Securities Context

Administrative fines are are regularly imposed by the Ontario Securities Commission (the OSC) in enforcement proceedings as sanctions for violations of Ontario securities law. Less well-known, but equally important, is the ability of the OSC to require wrongdoers to forfeit to the Crown the ill-gotten proceeds of unlawful activities. This post outlines the process by … Continue reading

Bustle without the Hustle not an “Act in Furtherance of a Trade” under the Ontario Securities Act

A recent decision by the Ontario Court of Justice provides lessons about the scope of the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC)’s powers to regulate acts “in furtherance of a trade”.  The OSC’s case was against two individuals who helped create a website for a new company.  The website included an investors relations page which stated that … Continue reading

Aurora/CanniMed: Canadian securities regulators provide guidance on takeover bids in Canada – Expect to see more hard lock-ups and fewer tactical poison pills

Key takeaways: expect to see an increased use of hard lock-ups (that is, lock-ups in which a shareholder agrees to tender shares even if a superior bid comes along), which will provide bidders with reduced risk during the new 105-day bid period well-structured hard lock-ups do not necessarily result in target shareholders being joint actors … Continue reading

Deferred Prosecution Agreements: Coming to Canada Shortly

The Canadian government, as part of Bill C-74-1 the Budget Implementation Act introduced on March 27, 2018, finally introduced a bill that would make deferred prosecution agreements (DPAs) part of the Criminal Code. This new prosecutorial tool would represent a significant shift in Canada’s approach towards corporate wrongdoing – one that aligns Canada more closely … Continue reading

Federal court holds that CFTC can regulate virtual currencies as commodities

On March 6, 2018, in a fraud proceeding involving a virtual currency product, a New York federal court held that virtual currencies can be regulated by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) as commodities. Commodity Futures Trading Commission v. McDonnell (E.D.N.Y. Mar. 6, 2018).[1] This ruling marks the first federal judicial endorsement of the CFTC’s … Continue reading

New Corporate Governance Website Disclosure Requirements for TSX-Listed Issuers In Effect April 1, 2018

Amendments to the TSX Company Manual (the Manual), which places new website disclosure requirements (Requirements) on TSX-listed issuers, are coming into effect on April 1, 2018 in accordance with the newly adopted section 473 of the Manual. Among other things, the Requirements mandate website publication of any majority voting and advance notice policies that have … Continue reading

Reforming Class Actions in Ontario – Your Input Please!

On March 9, 2018, the Law Commission of Ontario (LCO) released its Consultation Paper entitled “Class Actions: Objectives, Experiences and Reforms”. The Consultation Paper is the next phase of the LCO’s Class Actions Project which is set to conduct a general review of the class action landscape in Ontario, with a view to providing a … Continue reading

IIROC Seeks Public Comment on Proposed New Disciplinary Options

On February 22, 2018, the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) announced that it was launching a public consultation on two new disciplinary approaches for dealing with minor violations of IIROC rules and the resolution of disciplinary cases. IIROC’s Enforcement Department is specifically responsible for enforcing IIROC’s Dealer Member Rules relating to the sales, … Continue reading

No Early Disclosure: Quebec Court of Appeal Confirms Protection for Public Issuer

Plaintiff-shareholders in Quebec are not entitled to early document disclosure when seeking leave to bring claims against public issuers for secondary market liability. The Quebec Court of Appeal’s decision in Amaya[1] confirms that the “screening mechanism” under the Quebec Securities Act[2] to root out frivolous claims by plaintiff-shareholders is analogous to the statutory remedies available … Continue reading

Supreme Court Holds Individuals Must Report to the SEC to Qualify as Whistleblowers under Dodd-Frank

On Wednesday, February 21, 2018, the Supreme Court resolved a circuit split by unanimously holding that an employee must report suspected securities law violations to the SEC in order to qualify as a whistleblower entitled to protection from retaliation under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 (“Dodd-Frank”).  Dodd Frank’s anti-retaliation … Continue reading

Ontario Securities Commission Revamps Whistleblower Program for In-House Counsel

Background In 2016, the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) adopted OSC Policy 15-601 (the Policy) which established its Whistleblower Program (the Program). The Program is intended to encourage whistleblowers to report serious violations of securities law, such as insider trading, fraud, misleading financial statements or trading-related misconduct. Under the Program, individuals who voluntarily offer such information … Continue reading

CBA Proposal for a Framework to Facilitate Court to Court Communication and Coordination of Overlapping Class Actions Clears the First Hurdle

(The author was a member of the CBA National Class Actions Task Force 2016-2017) At the CBA Annual Meeting on February 15, 2018, a resolution to approve, as best practices, a revised Canadian Judicial Protocol for the Management of Multi-Jurisdictional Class Actions was approved.  The resolution also urges Canadian courts that administer class actions to … Continue reading

Supreme Court of Canada Clarifies RJR-MacDonald Test for Mandatory Injunctions: R v CBC, 2018 SCC 5

The Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) has clarified the test for mandatory injunctions under the RJR-MacDonald framework and resolves conflicting case law concerning the strength of the case that the applicant must establish in order to succeed by requiring that the applicant  demonstrate a strong prima facie case that it will likely succeed at trial, … Continue reading

Ontario provides protection to “whistleblowers” against reprisals

In December 2017, Ontario instituted a civil cause of action for employees who experience reprisals from their employers for providing information or assisting in certain other ways in regulatory or criminal investigations or proceedings involving contraventions of securities or commodity futures laws (whistleblowing). The identical amendments to s. 121.5 of Ontario’s Securities Act and s. … Continue reading

The Canadian Securities Administrators Prepares to Reconsider Disclosure Requirements for Issuers linked to US-Based Marijuana Activities

Securities law requirements for issuers linked to US-based marijuana-related activities may be about to change. In October 2017, the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) published Staff Notice 51-352[1], outlining disclosure requirements for issuers that have (or are engaged in developing) marijuana-related activities within US states that have authorized such activity. At that time, the CSA indicated … Continue reading

Class actions come to the cryptocurrency markets

In the U.S. there has been an notable uptick in class action lawsuits launched against companies in the cryptocurrency market in late 2017. As public attention turned to the roller-coaster ride of cryptocurrency markets over the past year, it is not surprising that ambitious class counsel have jumped on the ride by issuing their first … Continue reading

R. v. Marakah: A roadmap towards broader privacy protection in securities enforcement proceedings?

In R. v. Marakah[1], the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) considered (1) whether Canadians can reasonably expect that text messages they send remain private, even after the messages have reached their destination, and (2) whether the state is free to access text messages from a recipient’s device without a warrant. Facts Marakah was convicted for … Continue reading

OSC orders trading platform systems upgrade

On November 13, 2017, Staff of the Ontario Securities Commission brought an application seeking a temporary order suspending the registration of Omega Securities Inc. (Omega) as well as trading in two alternative trading systems run by Omega called Omega ATS and Lynx ATS, pending the outcome of a hearing on the merits. Staff alleged that … Continue reading

Certainty or Flexibility? Changing the Approach to Director and Audit Committee Member Independence

The Canadian Securities Administrators (the CSA) is seeking comments on its consultation paper: CSA Consultation Paper 52-404 Approach to Director and Audit Committee Member Independence (the Consultation Paper). The Consultation Paper intends to facilitate a discussion on the appropriateness of the CSA’s approach to determining Director and Audit Committee Member Independence.[1] The deadline to submit … Continue reading

SEC takes action in respect of rogue Canadian ICO issuer

On December 1, 2017, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) commenced a civil action in the U.S. District Court against PlexCorps (also known as PlexCoin and Sidepay.ca) and its principals, Dominic Lacroix and Sabrina Paradis-Royer, seeking civil remedies including injunctive relief, an order freezing all of the defendants’ assets and disgorgement.  The SEC alleges that … Continue reading

More Cyber Security Lessons from the Canadian Securities Administrators

Earlier this year, we reported on continuing efforts by the Canadian Securities Administrators (the CSA) to inform the market about cyber security best practices with the publication of Multilateral Staff Notice 51-347 which concerned the disclosure of cyber security, attacks, and risks. The CSA’s efforts continue with CSA Staff Notice 33-321 (the Staff Notice) as … Continue reading
LexBlog