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The public and other stakeholders have less time to comment on proposals from Ontario’s securities and financial services regulators.

Legislation to cut the minimum consultation period for regulatory policy proposals from the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) and the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario (FSRA) to 60 days from 90 days took effect on Dec. 4.

That’s the day the legislation, Bill 139, received royal assent — as well as the day the comment period for the legislation ended.

The reduced time for policy consultations will “provide the OSC and FSRA with the flexibility to streamline the rule development process and reduce regulatory burden, while having the ability to set out longer consultation periods for stakeholder consideration of more complex rules,” the government said in a notice detailing its proposals.

Other provinces already have shorter minimum periods or no minimum at all.

The latest review of the OSC by Ontario’s Office of the Auditor General flagged the time it takes to bring rule-making initiatives to fruition — particularly rules involving investor protection — as an issue at the regulator.

“We found that the process of making rules for capital markets is exceedingly slow,” the AG said in its report.

The Investment Industry Association of Canada was among stakeholders that criticized the legislation, stating that the goal of faster, more responsive rule making wouldn’t be achieved by giving the market less time to assess regulatory proposals.

“On its face, the proposal to shorten the consultation period brings regulatory burden, compliance costs, direct and indirect costs, and no benefit,” the IIAC said in a letter following the proposal’s announcement. “Rules and regulations that are rushed, without thorough cost-benefit analysis, consideration of alternatives and clear public accountability risk negative outcomes for investors and markets.”

The amendments in Bill 139 affect the Securities Act, the Commodity Futures Act and the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario Act.