OSC Request for Comments Regarding Statement of Priorities for Financial Year to End March 31, 2021 

May 29, 2020

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OSC Request for Comments Regarding Statement of Priorities for Financial Year to End March 31, 2021 

Letter Summary:

Given the COVID-19 pandemic, the OSC is not currently preparing a full set of priorities for comment. Instead, it has requested comments on its existing priorities as well as its report on regulatory burden reduction initiatives

Overview of the Council’s Comments:

The Canadian Advocacy Council of CFA Societies Canada noted that we support targeted regulation and legislation which, in general, should be risk and principles based. Furthermore, OSC Staff should facilitate the reduction of regulatory burden faced by smaller registrants and make it easier to share common compliance infrastructure and best practices, and explicitly permit part time Chief Compliance Officers (CCOs) for risk-appropriate registrants. Keeping with the theme of burden reduction, proposed rules and guidance that are disproportionate in their benefits to their costs of development and implementation should be further critiqued. The OSC should continue to inform future regulation with the research stated in OSC Staff Notice 11-778 – Behavioural Insights – Key Concepts, Applications and Regulatory Considerations. The CAC continues to support the SEDAR Plus project so that all investors can more readily access important documents on a consistent and usable basis. Like many global counterparts, the OSC should further develop and strongly consider publishing its service standards in a transparent manner. Issuers and registrants should be told how long any sought exemption applications or receipt processes will take, which will help provide certainty to applicants in planning items such as transactions, registration or fund formations. We reiterate prior comments that we support any concrete measures that can be taken by the OSC to further strengthen OBSI’s decision making authority. Finally, we are of the view that the OSC should continue an examination of the conflicts of embedded compensation as part of its continued work as the client focused reforms are phased in.

The final priorities were published on June 25, 2020. Per the release, the feedback received was generally supportive of the OSC’s leadership and proposed direction and the OSC’s continued focus on investor protection and commitment to work with the Ontario government on modernizing Ontario’s capital markets. Specific comments highlighted in the release included discussion on the OSC’s ongoing work on embedded commissions, regulatory burden reduction, service standards, advisor titles and proficiency standards, and initiatives to improve investor protection.