BC Securities Commission Provides Temporary Relief due to COVID-19

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In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the BC Securities Commission (the “BCSC”) announced temporary measures to provide relief to regulated entities from certain disclosure and filing requirements under securities laws. On March 23, 2020, the BCSC implemented four orders which provide blanket relief in the form of 45 day extensions for specified filing obligations that were otherwise due on or before June 1, 2020.

21-505 – BC Instrument – Temporary exemption from certain reporting requirements for Regulated Entities carrying on business in British Columbia:

  • Extension granted to “Regulated Entities” (defined to include marketplaces, clearing agencies, information processors and trade repositories) for filings including annual financial statements, SOC 1 Reports, annual compliance reports and a number of other quarterly and annual reports.

32-526 – BC Instrument – Temporary exemption from certain financial statement and information delivery requirements for registrants:

  • Extension granted to registrants for filings including financials statements, 31-103F1 excess working capital calculations and other filings.

51-515 – BC Instrument – Temporary Exemption from Certain Corporate Finance Requirements:

  • Extension granted to issuers (other than investment funds) for filings including annual financial statements, interim reports, MD&A, mining technical reports and other continuous disclosure obligations.

81-519 – BC Instrument – Extension of Certain Filing, Sending, Delivery and Prospectus Renewal Requirements of Investment Funds:

  • Extension granted to investment funds for filings including annual financial statements, custodian and compliance reports and other filings.

Entities seeking to rely on these exemptions must adhere to certain additional requirements, which may include filing a news release on SEDAR or making other prescribed public disclosure of its intention to rely on the exemption.

The BCSC indicated it expected other securities regulators in jurisdictions across Canada to adopt similar orders. As the situation surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic evolves, the BCSC will adapt its response as necessary. The Capital Markets, Securities and Mergers & Acquisitions group at Clark Wilson LLP will closely monitor developments and continue to provide updates as they become available.