What do I do if I own shares in a company that has a cease trade order (CTO) issued against it?

You have two options:

  1. Hold onto your shares in case the CTO is revoked; or
  2. Consider claiming a capital loss on your income taxes.
The company is responsible for complying with Ontario securities law. Once a CTO is issued, it is up to the company - not the OSC - to correct the deficiencies and apply to have the CTO revoked.

You may want to contact the company directly to find out how it is addressing the CTO. Company contact information is available on the company’s profile on the System for Electronic Document Analysis and Retrieval at SEDAR.

From the SEDAR homepage:

  • click "Company Profiles" in the top navigation bar
  • under “Public Company”, choose the first letter of the company’s name
  • scroll down the list and click on the company name
Claiming a capital loss
Depending on the company's status, you may be able to claim a capital loss on your investment for income tax purposes. You should contact Canada Revenue Agency or a tax adviser for guidance.

Confirming if the company exists
If the company has been subject to the CTO for a number of years, you may want to contact the Ministry of Government Services, Companies and Personal Property Security Branch (MGS) or Industry Canada to find out if the company still exists. Both MGS and Industry Canada charge a small fee for their services.

Companies incorporated in Ontario
Companies and Personal Property Security Branch
Ministry of Government Services
200-393 University Avenue
Toronto, ON M5G 2M2
Companies Helpline: (416) 314-8880 or toll free 1-800-361-3223
TTY: (416) 212-1476 (speech/hearing impaired)

Federally-incorporated companies
Industry Canada, Corporations Directorate
Corporations Branch
365 Laurier Avenue West
9th Floor, Journal Tower South
Ottawa, ON, K1A 0C8
Bankruptcy Division: (613) 941-2863 or toll free 1-800-328-6189
Corporations Branch: (613) 941-9042