Floor 22 - 20 Queen Street West
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 16, 2020
OSC announces operational changes in response to COVID-19
TORONTO - The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) is taking all necessary precautions to protect the health and safety of its employees and the public as we respond to challenges due to COVID-19.
Most OSC staff have begun working from home. All essential and core operations will continue, however, many will be delivered remotely. We are also limiting external access to our offices to only those required for essential operations.
We are aware that many market participants have also started to work remotely and understand that this will make business more challenging. We support your efforts as we all weather these changes and will be flexible in our regulatory expectations during this difficult time.
On-site compliance reviews and our planned Risk Assessment Questionnaire are postponed until further notice. Normal-course registration and compliance activities will continue as planned, however we will be flexible on deadlines for information.
All in-person outreach, including Registrant Outreach sessions, OSC LaunchPad information days and OSC in the Community information sessions are cancelled. Upcoming Registrant Outreach and SME Institute webinars will be re-scheduled for a later date. In-person consultation with our advisory committees, market participants and investors will be re-scheduled as teleconference meetings.
The OSC will not be holding in-person hearings until at least April 30, 2020. The Office of the Secretary will reach out to parties with hearings scheduled between now and April 30 to determine if a hearing may proceed via teleconference or in writing.
To support market participants and to assist the public, the OSC's Contact Centre is operational at essential staffing levels. At this time, we encourage you to contact us by e-mail or by phone only, as we cannot respond to correspondence received by mail or by fax during this period.
The OSC also continues to collaborate with the CSA, to coordinate our approach for market participants on filing deadlines, meeting expectations for Annual General Meetings and other compliance expectations. We are also actively monitoring market operations and are working collaboratively with the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada.
We will adapt plans and publish further updates on our operations, as the situation develops.
The mandate of the OSC is to provide protection to investors from unfair, improper or fraudulent practices, to foster fair and efficient capital markets and confidence in the capital markets, and to contribute to the stability of the financial system and the reduction of systemic risk. Investors are urged to check the registration of any persons or company offering an investment opportunity and to review the OSC investor materials available at http://www.osc.gov.on.ca.
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