OSC Releases Whistleblower Policy for Comment


On October 28, 2015, the Ontario Securities Commission (“OSC”) published proposed OSC Policy 15-601 Whistleblower Program (the Policy), which describes a whistleblower program that is intended to encourage the reporting of serious securities-related misconduct in Ontario to the OSC.

Under the proposed policy, the OSC will pay an eligible whistleblower a monetary award on a scale of between 5% and 15% of the total monetary sanctions imposed or voluntary payments made by a party who breaches securities laws where the aggregate monetary sanction imposed is at least $1,000,000.

The Policy also contains an anti-retaliation clause, which is intended to protect whistleblowers from retaliation from their employers but doesn’t appear to add real legal protection to current wrongful dismissal laws. The Policy also permits whistleblowers to report purported violations of Ontario securities law anonymously through their legal counsel, and otherwise makes an attempt to ensure whistleblowers’ names will not be disclosed.

The OSC is asking interested parties to comment on the proposed Policy wording by January 12, 2016.