The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) is an independent Crown corporation that is responsible for regulating the capital markets in Ontario. Our statutory mandate is:
To provide protection to investors from unfair, improper or fraudulent practices and to foster fair and efficient capital markets and confidence in capital markets.
We contribute to the health and performance of Ontario’s economy by using our rule-making and enforcement powers to help safeguard investors, deter misconduct and regulate participants involved in capital markets in Ontario. We regulate firms and individuals who sell securities and provide advice in Ontario. We also regulate public companies, investment funds and marketplaces, such as the Toronto Stock Exchange.
Our powers are given to us under the Securities Act (Ontario) the Commodity Futures Act (Ontario) and certain provisions of the Business Corporations Act. We operate independently from government and are funded by fees charged to market participants. We are accountable to the Ontario Legislature through the Minister of Finance.
The history of the OSC dates back to 1928 when the Government of Ontario introduced the Security Frauds Prevention Act. The province’s securities regulator, the Security Frauds Prevention Board, was renamed the Ontario Securities Commission in 1933.
- Deliver responsive regulation
- Deliver effective enforcement and compliance
- Deliver strong investor protection
- Run a modern, accountable and efficient organization
- Support and promote financial stability
Our priorities for the current year are set out in our Statement of Priorities.
Ontario’s capital markets
- Ontario is Canada’s largest province by population.
- Toronto is Canada’s largest city and ranks 12th globally as a financial centre1.
- The TSX is the 8th-largest exchange group in the world by market capitalization2.
- 1,400 public companies in Ontario3
- 3,700 investment fund issuers in Ontario3
- 1,300 registered firms in Ontario3
- 66,000 registered individuals in Ontario3
1 Z/Yen Group, March 2013
2 TMX Group, World Federation of Exchanges
3 OSC, March 2013