Close of businesswoman making announcement in paper trumpet

Industry trade group the Investment Industry Association of Canada (IIAC) is endorsing a return to blanket orders for the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC).

In testimony to Ontario’s Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs on Dec. 2, the IIAC’s president and CEO, Ian Russell, spoke in favour of allowing the OSC to issue blanket orders.

The OSC is currently the only provincial regulator that doesn’t have the power to use blanket orders, which enable regulators to provide broad relief, rather than on a case-by-case basis. Instead, regulators have to go through the standard rule-making process to enact changes that will apply industry-wide.

The IIAC noted that the rest of the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) already have the power to issue blanket orders, and that several industry committees — including the original five-year review committee in 2003 — have called for blanket orders to allow the OSC to provide relief more efficiently and cost-effectively.

The IIAC also said that it supports an 18-month sunset clause to the blanket order power, with the option of extending the power for another 18 months.

“We see the sunset clause as a stop-gap measure to bring immediate relief to market participants and assess possible unwanted consequences,” the IIAC stated.

Additionally, the trade group said that it supports the repeal of the Toronto Stock Exchange Act, which it said “no longer serves a useful purpose.” It argued that repealing the act would give the exchange “flexibility on internal, administrative practices, in a way that aligns the TSX with practices of other Canadian corporations and exchanges.”

Finally, the IIAC indicated that it supports the creation of a new five-year review committee.

“Such a review is long overdue,” Russell said. “The task force should collaborate with the OSC Burden Reduction Task Force as well as the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) who [have] engaged in considerable work to enhance the client-registrant relationship (client focused reforms).”