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OSC Policy 15-601, Whistleblower Program [Completed]

Issued: April 19, 2016

Effective date:

The amendments are expected to come into force upon proclamation of the Lieutenant Governor

Last updated:

June 2016


The policy was developed after extensive stakeholder consultation and sets out key details about the whistleblower program, including the type of information that may result in a whistleblower award; the criteria that would make an individual eligible for an award; and the factors to be considered in determining the amount of an award.

Under the policy, if there is an award eligible outcome, eligible whistleblowers could receive up to a maximum of $1.5 million regardless of whether the OSC recovers sanction monies ordered, and up to a maximum of $5 million if the OSC does recover funds.

The policy also expands the list of persons eligible to be whistleblowers to include Directors and Officers, Chief Compliance Officers, in-house legal counsel and culpable whistleblowers, provided certain additional criteria are met.

In developing the policy, Staff considered comments received on OSC Staff Consultation Paper 15-401: Proposed Framework for an OSC Whistleblower Program, which was published on February 3, 2015 for a 90-day comment period. Staff also considered the valuable discussion that took place at the OSC’s June 9, 2015 public Whistleblower Roundtable.

Recent activities

June 2016

On June 16, 2016, the OSC announced the appointment of Kelly Gorman as Chief of the Office of the Whistleblower, effective immediately. The Office of the Whistleblower will open to receive tips on July 14, 2016.

May 2016

On May 20, 2016, Stikeman Elliott released an article where they discuss that employees in Ontario can soon expect to be protected from anti-retaliatory measures in connection with whistleblowing activities. As part of the Ontario Budget Measures Bill 173,which received royal assent on April 19, 2016, the Ontario government has approved amendments to the Securities Act (Ontario) (OSA) that are intended to implement protection for reprisals against employees who provide information about a possible contravention of Ontario securities law, or a by-law or other regulatory instrument of a recognized self-regulatory organization (SRO), or who are involved in an investigation or proceeding related to the information provided.

October 2015

On October 28, 2015, the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) published OSC Policy 15-601, Whistleblower Program, which describes a whistleblower program that would encourage the reporting of serious securities-related misconduct in Ontario to the OSC.

February 2015

On February 3, 2015, the OSC released OSC Staff Consultation Paper 15-401, which proposes a new whistleblower program that would encourage the reporting of serious misconduct of Ontario securities law to the OSC.

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