The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) has announced that, as a result of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak, it will provide temporary exemptive relief for registrants and investment funds from certain filing, delivery and payment obligations imposed by Ontario securities laws. Comparable orders have been issued by other provincial securities commissions.
The OSC’s order provides automatic extensions from the original filing due dates for registered dealers, registered advisers and registered investment fund managers to deliver financial statements and certain other required information and to satisfy certain fee-related requirements. These registrants are permitted to extend the applicable due date by up to 45 days from the original required date of filing or payment, where such filing or payment delivery deadlines fall during the period from March 23, 2020 to June 1, 2020. No steps need to be taken by registered firms in order to rely on this relief.
The OSC’s order provides for certain temporary exemptions for investment funds, including:
(a) such that certain filing and delivery obligations of investment funds are extended for a period of 45 days from the original required filing date, where the delivery deadlines fall during the period from March 23, 2020 to June 1, 2020; and
(b) such that investment funds distributing securities under a prospectus with a lapse date during the period from March 23, 2020 to June 1, 2020, have the lapse date extended for a period of 45 days.
In order to rely on this relief, an investment fund must, in advance of the original filing or delivery deadline, notify the Director of the Investment Funds and Structured Products Branch (IFSPDirector@osc.gov.on.ca) that the investment fund is relying on this relief and must specify each applicable requirement for which it is relying on this relief. Additionally, an investment fund relying on this relief must, in advance of its filing or delivery deadline, post a statement on its public website, or the public website of its investment fund manager, stating that the investment fund is relying on this relief and each applicable requirement for which it is relying on this relief.
For a list of the filing and delivery obligations for which exemptive relief is being given, reference is made to (a) Ontario Instrument 31-510 – Temporary Exemption from Certain Financial Statement and Information Delivery Requirements for Registrants and Unregistered Capital Markets Participants; and (b) Ontario Instrument 81-503 – Extension of Certain Filing, Delivery and Prospectus Renewal Requirements of Investment Funds, which can be found here and here.
Should you have any questions on the implementation of any of the above or questions about ongoing filing obligations, do not hesitate to contact our team.