On October 1, the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) and Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) published joint whistleblower guidance (Guidance) encouraging the public to submit tips on potential abusive trading, including illegal insider trading, market manipulation or abusive short selling. According to the Guidance, IIROC and the OSC believe that certain market participants are engaged in abusive short selling and they are particularly interested in tips relating to short selling into or ahead of private and public offerings of Ontario securities. The Guidance also stresses that anyone, not just trading firms or their employees, may be eligible for a whistleblowing award of up to $5 million under the OSC program, if they have first-hand or other specific and credible evidence of securities law misconduct. The OSC’s Whistleblower Program is outlined here and IIROC’s program is outlined here.

October 30, 2020