Close of businesswoman making announcement in paper trumpet

Despite setbacks arising from Covid-19, the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) is still plugging away at reducing the regulatory burden for market participants.

On Wednesday, the OSC published a status update on its burden reduction initiatives, which were first announced in November 2019. According to the update, 27% of the initiatives are now complete, 36% are on schedule and 37% are delayed.

Of the 40 burden-reduction projects that have been delayed, 23% were delayed as a result of Covid-19, the OSC reported.

All of the OSC’s initiatives aimed at streamlining compliance reviews of registrants have been completed, although efforts to make it easier for firms to complete the risk assessment questionnaire have been delayed.

“I am proud of staff’s unwavering dedication to improving regulation for our market while continuing to deliver strong investor protection and contributing to the economic recovery of our province,” Grant Vingoe, acting chair of the OSC, said in a statement.

Investor advocates are less enthusiastic about the OSC’s preoccupation with burden reduction.

Earlier this month, Kenmar Associates issued a scathing rebuke of the OSC’s decision to continue focusing on burden reduction rather than issuing a new statement of priorities for the year ahead.

In a statement, the OSC said burden reduction is a “central component” of creating confidence in Ontario’s capital markets — a plan that was addressed in the provincial government’s Open for Business commitment in 2018.