||(August 11, 2004) The
Ontario Securities Commission will release a long-awaited report next
week on the regulator's overlapping role as policy-maker, investigator
and adjudicator of the province's securities industry.
Last year, Purdy Crawford's five-year
review of the Ontario securities industry suggested the regulator examine
the appropriate structure of the OSC's adjudicative tribunal role on a
priority basis to determine whether it "gives rise to perceptions of
potential for conflict or abuse."
In response, the OSC created its own
three-man committee to study the commission's quasi-judicial structure,
led by Ontario's integrity commission, Coulter Osborne.
The OSC says the Osborne report will be
tabled by commission chair David Brown on August 18 before the Ontario
government's standing committee on finance and economic affairs, which has
set aside four days of hearings on the Crawford committee's
recommendations. Crawford is also scheduled to appear.
The Osborne report has been in the OSC's
hands since April, but its contents remain a closely-guarded secret. One
possible recommendation is the creation of an independent adjudicator,
similar to Quebec's model.
The Ontario regulator's decision to hold
off on a public release of the Osborne report until next week when the
hearings begin doesn't sit well with some investor advocates, including
Robert Kyle, executive director of the Small Investor Protection
"I am very concerned that an agency whose
mandate is to administer and enforce securities laws would choose not to
share with investors the recommendations of thoughtful experts on the
subject of OSC adjudication and conflicts of interest," Kyle wrote in a
letter to the standing committee. "Release of the Osborne report would
facilitate further thoughtful discussion at the Ontario standing committee
on finance and economic affairs and implementation of necessary reforms."
Kyle says that since the contents of the
report will be the subject of next week's hearings, "it does not make
sense to expect the public to comment on a paper which is not before
In response to Kyle's letter, chair Pat
Hoy said the standing committee does not have a copy of the Osborne
The standing committee will also touch on
several other securities-related issues, including the five-year review
committee's recommendations on the creation of a single national
securities regulator. The standing committee's final report is due in
Filed by Doug Watt, Advisor.ca,