Blog

The OSC Develops New Strategy Aimed at Protecting Seniors

2 April 2018

By Uri Snir

On March 20, 2018, the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) published a report titled Seniors Strategy. The report develops initiatives and an action plan to better protect senior investors in Ontario. The report is the culmination of extensive research and data collection by the OSC, as it recognizes the growing challenges facing older investors. Babin Bessner Spry’s own Ellen Bessner served on the Seniors Expert Advisory Committee that consulted with the OSC in developing its Seniors Strategy.

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Manitoba Joins Emerging Trend of Granting More Legal Authority to Investment Industry Regulators, but is Investor Protection Really the Bottom Line?

26 March 2018

By Khrystina McMillan

and Shakaira John

Last week, Manitoba’s Minister of Finance introduced proposed amendments to Manitoba securities legislation that would grant a national investment industry regulator enhanced enforcement powers. If approved, these amendments will make Manitoba the fifth province that has provided self-regulatory organizations (“SROs”) with more robust legal authority in the name of investor protection. It is not clear, however, that the goal of investor protection is actually served by giving SROs more enforcement powers.

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The Great Library – A Love Letter to an Accessible, Modern Resource with a Remarkable History

19 March 2018

By Eden Kaill

The Great Library at the Law Society of Ontario (“LSO”) is many things – a historically significant collection of rare books, an architectural masterpiece hidden in plain sight, and for those looking for an obscure (or not-so obscure but expensive) legal text, an absolute treasure trove. Law students study here, members of the public walk the stacks, any licensed lawyer or paralegal can access any document the library manages, and the knowledgeable staff will even help with research.

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Blockchain: The Disruptive Technology Changing the Legal Landscape

12 March 2018

By Uri Snir

On February 1, 2018, the Ontario Securities Commission approved Canada’s first exchange traded fund (ETF) that tracks blockchain-based companies. There appear to be at least two additional blockchain ETFs in the pipeline and more will likely follow. Earlier this year, similar ETFs were launched on the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq.

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The Ontario Court of Appeal Applies Knowing Assistance Doctrine to Allow Damages Against Corporations in Fraud “Shell Game” Case

6 March 2018

By Morgan Westgate

In its recent decision, DBDC Spadina Ltd. v. Walton, the Ontario Court of Appeal clarifies the law on knowing assistance claims that are brought against corporations.

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Court of Appeal Finds Claim of Solicitor’s Negligence Not Appropriate for Summary Judgment

27 February 2018

By Cynthia Spry

In Aird & Berlis LLP v. Oravital Inc., the Court of Appeal recently overturned a decision: (1) granting summary judgment to a law firm for unpaid fees and disbursements; and (2) dismissing the counterclaim by the law firm’s former clients (two corporations) alleging negligent provision of legal advice and representation. The decision emphasizes that, even where all parties agree that an action is appropriate for summary judgment, it is nonetheless open to the courts to disagree and order a matter proceed to trial.

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Changes to Ontario’s Whistleblower Regime to Enhance Protections and Proposed Changes to Clarify the Ineligibility of In-House Counsel for Whistleblower Awards

20 February 2018

By Shakaira John

In an earlier post, we discussed the Ontario Securities Commission’s (“OSC”) Whistleblower Program under OSC Policy 15-601 and, in particular, the OSC’s focus on promoting awareness of whistleblower protections despite criticisms of their efficacy. Recently, legislative amendments gave teeth to whistleblower protections by creating a civil cause of action for reprisals, potentially resolving one of the criticisms of the program (highlighted in our earlier post).

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Pencils in Space: Why Targets for Women in Corporate Leadership Should no Longer be a Debate

12 February 2018

By Khrystina McMillan

I think I was in high school when I first heard the story about a contest held by NASA offering a hefty cash prize to anyone who could invent an anti-gravity pen for use in outer space. While many of the country’s greatest minds set out to design such a “space pen”, pouring millions of dollars and countless hours into the task, according to legend the contest was won by a young child who simply wrote: “Why not use a pencil?”

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The Anxiety of Retiring Solo: New Survey Finds Single Canadians are Concerned About Retirement Savings

5 February 2018

By Uri Snir

It is increasingly common for Canadians to be living on their own as they enter retirement: it is a living arrangement that some plan for, while others do not. Whether single, separated, divorced or widowed, Canadians who live on their own in retirement face several challenges.

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When You Ought to Have Known: Court of Appeal Upholds Liability Against Successive Tippees Who Lacked Actual Knowledge of the Source of the Inside Information

29 January 2018

By Khrystina McMillan

In a decision released last Thursday, January 25, 2018, the Ontario Court of Appeal considered for the first time the definition of a “person in a special relationship with an issuer” as it applies to successive tippees who possess inside information. In Finkelstein v Ontario Securities Commission, the Court of Appeal upheld findings of liability and significant sanctions against Howard Miller and Francis Cheng – the final two recipients in a five-person long chain of successive tippees – even though neither Miller nor Cheng knew that the source of the information was an insider. According to the Court of Appeal, however, they ought to have known that they were acting on inside information.

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