The OSC's Office of the Whistleblower encourages individuals to come forward and report high quality information about possible violations of Ontario securities law that have occurred, are ongoing, or are about to occur. This guide is intended to help potential whistleblowers understand features of the Whistleblower Program and the report submission process.

Who can be a whistleblower

A whistleblower can be an individual, or a group of individuals acting jointly, who:

  • are aware of, or suspect, a violation of Ontario securities law; and
  • voluntarily come forward and report that information to the OSC's Office of the Whistleblower by completing and submitting the Whistleblower Submission Form either online or by mail.

Potential whistleblowers may include employees, former employees, suppliers, contractors, clients and others.

Individuals or groups of individuals who have been involved in the misconduct that they are reporting can still be whistleblowers. Such culpable whistleblowers may still be eligible for a whistleblower award.

Businesses or organizations cannot be whistleblowers.

Types of misconduct to report

The OSC's Whistleblower Program is seeking information about possible breaches of Ontario securities law. We have set out some examples below and this is not an exhaustive list. We also welcome submissions on other types of securities-related misconduct.

Click on a type of misconduct to see a definition.

Whistleblowers who wish to report misconduct that is not listed above may select "other" when completing the Whistleblower Submission Form and describe the misconduct.

Anonymous submissions (optional)

Whistleblowers who wish to submit anonymously must be represented by a lawyer. They must provide their lawyer with a completed and signed Whistleblower Submission Form, and then their lawyer must submit that information and any documents or materials on the whistleblower's behalf. This process is detailed in the Protections section.

How to submit a report

Whistleblowers must complete a Whistleblower Submission Form and must submit it to the OSC's Office of the Whistleblower, either online or by mail.

We ask whistleblowers to provide as much relevant detail and supporting documents or materials as possible.

Whistleblowers should not reference or attach any documents or materials that may reflect legal advice, that are communications with a lawyer for the purpose of obtaining legal advice or related working papers or that may otherwise be subject to solicitor-client privilege.

Online submission

  • Up to five individual whistleblowers may jointly submit a single online report.
  • Electronic supporting documents or materials up to 1 GB in total and a maximum of 20 files may be attached to an online report.
  • Physical documents or materials, or electronic documents or materials greater than 1 GB in total or 20 files and saved on a physical storage medium, such as a USB thumb drive, may be submitted by mail or courier.
    • To send item(s) by mail or courier in connection with an online submission, whistleblowers must complete the online Whistleblower Submission Form first and take note of the Submission ID that is provided upon completion. The supporting items may then be sent directly to the OSC's Office of the Whistleblower (see mailing address). The mailing must include:
      1. whistleblower name(s);
      2. Submission ID;
      3. the supporting item(s);
      4. a description of the item(s) provided;
      5. a description of how the item(s) were obtained; and
      6. if the whistleblower(s) identity is likely to be revealed through any of the items.
  • Submit a new report

The OSC eForms platform that powers the online Whistleblower Submission Form is only compatible with certain web browsers. In addition, users of recent versions of Microsoft Internet Explorer and Microsoft Edge will need to configure their browser to load the form in compatibility mode. Our list of supported browsers includes instructions for activating compatibility mode in Internet Explorer and Edge.

Whistleblowers who experience technical difficulties in completing or submitting the online form may refer to our Technical Issues FAQ.

Mail submission

  • Each individual whistleblower or their lawyer must complete the Whistleblower Submission Form.
  • All supporting documents or materials must be included in the whistleblower's mailing to the OSC's Office of the Whistleblower (see mailing address).
    • Physical documents and electronic files saved on a physical storage medium, such as a USB thumb drive, will be accepted.
    • The mailing must include:
      1. a description of the item(s) provided;
      2. a description of how the item(s) were obtained; and
      3. if the whistleblower(s) identity is likely to be revealed through any of the items.
  • Submit a new report

Reference copy: Whistleblower Submission Form

After submitting a Whistleblower Submission Form

Staff of the OSC's Office of the Whistleblower will review each whistleblower's submission to determine if it requires further follow-up or investigation.

Staff may contact a whistleblower or their lawyer (in the case of an anonymous submission) to request additional information, including:

  • explanations and other assistance so that we may evaluate and use the information that was submitted;
  • details on any documents or other information that may support the submission; and
  • information regarding eligibility for a whistleblower award.

We encourage whistleblowers to be as detailed as possible in their initial submission. If, after submitting an initial report, a whistleblower wishes to provide additional information, the whistleblower may complete and submit the Supplemental Whistleblower Submission Form either online or by mail. Whistleblowers will need to cite the Submission ID that they received after submitting their initial report.

Reference copy: Supplemental Whistleblower Submission Form

Notice

The information provided on this page is intended to provide a general summary of certain key features of the OSC Whistleblower Program. It does not purport to be a complete or comprehensive discussion of all aspects of the Whistleblower Program, is not legal or other professional advice, and should not be relied upon or regarded as a substitute for legal or other professional advice. For detailed information about the Program, including eligibility requirements and certain limitations that apply, we recommend that you read the full text of the official OSC Whistleblower Policy: OSC Policy 15-601 - Whistleblower Program.