As a regulatory body, the OSC administers and enforces compliance with the provisions of the Securities Act (Ontario) and the Commodity Futures Act (Ontario). Specifically, we work to protect investors and foster fair and efficient markets by making and monitoring compliance with rules governing the securities industry in Ontario.
The OSC makes rules that aim to prevent misconduct and maintain the integrity of the markets. Rule and policy development is a public process – we publish proposed rules for public comment on our website and in the OSC Bulletin.
As part of policy development, we consult with investors, industry representatives and other groups. Consultations are conducted in various ways, including external conferences, roundtables, and formal and informal committees. We have established several advisory committees, including an Investor Advisory Panel, to help us gather input on a variety of issues.
The OSC monitors market participants for compliance with Ontario securities law. If we find that an individual or firm is not complying with the law and we cannot satisfactorily resolve our concerns with them, we can take a number of actions.
For example, the OSC can issue a cease trade order on an issuer’s securities, order a public company or investment fund to restate and refile its financial statements, or impose terms and conditions on a registration. Where appropriate, we may take enforcement action.
The OSC investigates alleged breaches of Ontario securities law, such as misleading disclosure, abusive trading practices and illegal insider trading. If an individual or company contravenes securities law, the OSC can initiate an enforcement proceeding against them. These types of cases are heard by an administrative panel of Commissioners who act as independent adjudicators. They have the power to impose sanctions, such as banning individuals from leadership roles in public companies, and ordering firms and individuals to pay a penalty. Learn more about OSC proceedings.
In certain cases, provincial securities legislation also gives the OSC the authority to prosecute accused wrongdoers through the Ontario courts, which can impose jail terms as a possible sanction. Learn more about court proceedings.
However, as a regulatory body, we do not normally recover money for investors.