OSC's Role

Providing protection to investors is a key part of the OSC’s mandate. As a regulatory agency, the OSC administers and enforces the Securities Act (Ontario) and the Commodity Futures Act (Ontario). Specifically, the OSC works to protect investors by making and enforcing rules governing the securities industry in Ontario.

Making rules

The OSC makes rules that aim to prevent misconduct and maintain the integrity of the markets. As part of overall policy development, we consult with investors and other stakeholders to identify and address issues of interest and concern to investors.

For example, the OSC has established the Investor Office which leads the effort at the OSC to identify and address relevant investor issues and concerns. The Office would like to hear your views on investor related initiatives.

Monitoring compliance

The OSC monitors market participants for compliance with Ontario securities law. If we find that an individual or firm is not complying with the law and we cannot resolve our concerns with them, we can take a number of actions.

For example, the OSC can issue a cease trade order on an issuer’s securities, order a public company or investment fund to restate and refile its financial statements, or impose terms and conditions on a registration. Where appropriate, we may take enforcement action.

Enforcing rules

The OSC investigates alleged breaches of Ontario securities law, such as misleading disclosure, abusive trading practices and illegal insider trading. If an individual or company contravenes securities law, the OSC can impose sanctions. For example, we can ban individuals from leadership roles in public companies, and order firms and individuals to pay a penalty.

Provincial securities legislation also gives the OSC the authority to go to the Ontario courts to prosecute accused wrongdoers and send a strong message of deterrence.

However, as a regulatory agency, we do not normally recover money for investors. See Help with getting your money back for information on organizations that may be able to help you get your money back.