Securities Law & Instruments

Headnote

National Policy 11-203 Process For Exemptive Relief Applications in Multiple Jurisdictions -- Reporting issuer seeking relief so that it can continue to file financial statements in accordance with pre-changeover Canadian GAAP (rather than IFRS) for periods relating to the issuer's financial year beginning on November 1, 2013 and ending on October 31, 2014 (the issuer's deferred financial year) -- In particular, the issuer is seeking relief from the requirements in Part 3 of National Instrument 52-107 that would apply to financial statements for periods relating to the issuer's deferred financial year -- The issuer is also seeking relief from the IFRS-related amendments to the continuous disclosure, prospectus, certification and audit committee rules (collectively, the rules) that came into force on January 1, 2011 and that would apply to periods relating to the issuer's deferred financial year -- The issuer is an "rate regulated entity" as defined in Accounting Guideline 19 Disclosures by entities subject to rate regulation (AcG-19) in the Handbook of the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants -- At its meeting on September 2012, the Canadian Accounting Standards Board decided that rate regulated entities, as defined in and applying AcG-19, will only be required to adopt IFRS for annual periods beginning on or after January 1, 2014 -- Since Part 3 of NI 52-107 and the IFRS-related amendments to the rules do not have a provision providing for a three-year deferral of the transition to IFRS for entities with rate-regulated activities subject to NI 52-107 and the rules, the issuer has applied for the relief -- Relief granted, subject to a number of conditions.

Applicable Legislative Provisions

National Instrument 52-107 Acceptable Accounting Principles and Auditing Standards, Parts 3 and 4.

National Instrument 51-102 Continuous Disclosure Obligations

National Instrument 41-101 General Prospectus Requirements

National Instrument 44-101 Short Form Prospectus Distributions

National Instrument 44-102 Shelf Distributions

National Instrument 52-109 Certification of Disclosure in Issuers' Annual and Interim Filings

National Instrument 52-110 Audit Committees

Citation: Central Fund of Canada Limited, Re, 2013 ABASC 8

January 10, 2013

IN THE MATTER OF

THE SECURITIES LEGISLATION OF

ALBERTA AND ONTARIO

(the Jurisdictions)

AND

IN THE MATTER OF

THE PROCESS FOR EXEMPTIVE RELIEF

APPLICATIONS IN MULTIPLE JURISDICTIONS

AND

IN THE MATTER OF

CENTRAL FUND OF CANADA LIMITED

(the Filer)

DECISION

Background

The securities regulatory authority or regulator in each of the Jurisdictions (the Decision Maker) has received an application from the Filer for a decision under the securities legislation of the Jurisdictions (the Legislation) for an exemption from:

(a) the requirements in Part 3 of National Instrument 52-107 Acceptable Accounting Principles and Auditing Standards (NI 52-107) that apply to financial statements, financial information, operating statements and pro forma financial statements for periods relating to the Filer's financial year beginning on November 1, 2013 and ending on October 31, 2014 (the Filer's deferred financial years), including without limitation, the interim financial statements and associated management discussion and analysis of the Filer (together, the Interim Financial Statements);

(b) the amendments to National Instrument 51-102 Continuous Disclosure Obligations (NI 51-102) related to International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) that came into force on January 1, 2011 and that apply to documents required to be prepared, filed, delivered, or sent under NI 51-102 for periods relating to the Filer's deferred financial years;

(c) the IFRS-related amendments to National Instrument 41-101 General Prospectus Requirements (NI 41-101) that came into force on January 1, 2011 and that apply to a preliminary prospectus, an amendment to a preliminary prospectus, a final prospectus or an amendment to a final prospectus of the Filer which includes or incorporates by reference financial statements of the Filer in respect of periods relating to the Filer's deferred financial years;

(d) the IFRS-related amendments to National Instrument 44-101 Short Form Prospectus Distributions (NI 44-101) that came into force on January 1, 2011 and that apply to a preliminary short form prospectus, an amendment to a preliminary short form prospectus, a final short form prospectus or an amendment to a final short form prospectus of the Filer which includes or incorporates by reference financial statements of the Filer in respect of periods relating to the Filer's deferred financial years;

(e) the IFRS-related amendments to National Instrument 44-102 Shelf Distributions (NI 44-102) that came into force on January 1, 2011 and that apply to a preliminary base shelf prospectus, an amendment to a preliminary base shelf prospectus, a base shelf prospectus, an amendment to a base shelf prospectus or a shelf prospectus supplement of the Filer which includes or incorporates by reference financial statements of the Filer in respect of periods relating to the Filer's deferred financial years;

(f) the IFRS-related amendments to National Instrument 52-109 Certification of Disclosure in Issuers' Annual and Interim Filings (NI 52-109) that came into force on January 1, 2011 and that apply to annual filings and interim filings for periods relating to the Filer's deferred financial years; and

(g) the IFRS-related amendments to National Instrument 52-110 Audit Committees (NI 52-110) that came into force on January 1, 2011 and that apply to periods relating to the Filer's deferred financial years.

(the Exemption Sought).

Under the Process for Exemptive Relief Applications in Multiple Jurisdictions (for a dual application):

(a) the Alberta Securities Commission is the principal regulator for the application;

(b) the Filer has provided notice that section 4.7(1) of Multilateral Instrument 11-102 Passport System (MI 11-102) is intended to be relied upon in all provinces and territories in Canada with the exception of Ontario; and

(c) this decision is the decision of the principal regulator and evidences the decision of the securities regulatory authority or regulator in Ontario.

Interpretation

Terms defined in National Instrument 14-101 -- Definitions or MI 11-102 have the same meaning if used in this decision, unless otherwise defined herein.

Representations

This decision is based on the following facts represented by the Filer:

1. The Filer was incorporated under the laws of the Province of Ontario in November 1961 and continued into the Province of Alberta on April 5, 1990.

2. The Filer's registered and head office address is located at 1323 15th Avenue S.W., Suite 805, Calgary, Alberta, T3C 0X8.

3. The Filer is a reporting issuer in all provinces and territories in Canada and to its knowledge is not in default of securities legislation in any jurisdiction.

4. The Filer's Class A non-voting, fully participating shares trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbols "CEF.A" (Cdn. $) and "CEF.U" (US $).

5. The Filer's fiscal year end is October 31.

6. The Filer is an "investment company" as defined in Accounting Guideline 18 Investment Companies (AcG-18) in the Handbook (the Handbook) of the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants (CICA). As such, the Filer applies AcG-18 in the preparation of its financial statements in accordance with Canadian generally accepted accounting principles (Canadian GAAP) for public enterprises.

7. The Filer is not an investment fund as that term is defined in the Securities Act (Ontario).

8. As part of the changeover to IFRS in Canada, the Canadian Accounting Standards Board (the AcSB) has incorporated IFRS into the Handbook as Canadian GAAP for most publicly accountable enterprises. As a result, the Handbook contains two sets of standards for public companies:

(a) Part 1 of the Handbook -- Canadian GAAP for publicly accountable enterprises that applies for financial years beginning on or after January 1, 2011; and

(b) Part V of the Handbook -- Canadian GAAP for public enterprises that is the pre-changeover accounting standards (old Canadian GAAP).

9. However, on October 1, 2010, the AcSB published amendments to Part 1 of the Handbook that provide a one-year deferral of the transition to IFRS for investment companies. The amendments require investment companies, as defined in and applying AcG-18, to adopt IFRS for annual periods beginning on or after January 1, 2012. Subsequently, the AcSB extended the deferral for an additional year, such that investment companies, as defined in and applying AcG-18, are only required to adopt IFRS for annual periods beginning on or after January 1, 2013. On February 29, 2012, the deferral was extended for a third time by amendments to Part I of the Handbook issued by the AcSB requiring investment companies, as defined in and applying AcG-18, to adopt IFRS for annual periods beginning on or after January 1, 2014.

10. As part of the changeover to IFRS, NI 52-107 was repealed and replaced effective January 1, 2011. In the new version of NI 52-107:

(a) Part 3 contains requirements based on IFRS and applies to financial statements, financial information, operating statements and pro forma financial statements for periods relating to financial years beginning on or after January 1, 2011; and

(b) Part 4 contains requirements based on old Canadian GAAP and applies to financial statements, financial information, operating statements and pro forma financial statements for periods relating to financial years beginning before January 1, 2011.

11. Also as part of the changeover to IFRS, IFRS-related amendments were made to NI 51-102, NI 41-101, NI 44-101, NI 44-102, NI 52-109 and NI 52-110 (collectively, the Rules) and these amendments came into force on January 1, 2011. Among other things, the amendments replace old Canadian GAAP terms and phrases with IFRS terms and phrases and contain IFRS-specific requirements. The amendment instruments for the Rules contain transition provisions that provide that the IFRS-related amendments only apply to documents required to be filed under the Rules for periods relating to financial years beginning on or after January 1, 2011. Thus, during the IFRS transition period:

(a) issuers filing financial statements prepared in accordance with old Canadian GAAP will be required to comply with the versions of the Rules that contain old Canadian GAAP terms and phrases: and

(b) issuers filing financial statements that comply with IFRS will be required to comply with the versions of the Rules that contain IFRS terms and phrases and IFRS-specific requirements.

12. On October 8, 2010, the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) published CSA Staff Notice 81-320 Update on International Financial Reporting Standards for Investment Funds, as revised on March 23, 2011 and March 30, 2012, which indicated that, given the October 1, 2010, March 2011 and February 29, 2012 amendments to the Handbook that provided for a deferral of the transition to IFRS for investment companies, the CSA would defer finalizing IFRS-related amendments to rules related to investment funds, with the stated goal of having the necessary IFRS related amendments for investment funds in force by January 1, 2014.

13. NI 52-107 and the Rules apply to the Filer. Since Part 3 of NI 52-107 and the IFRS-related amendments to the Rules do not have a provision providing for a two-year deferral of the transition to IFRS for investment companies subject to NI 52-107 and the Rules, the Filer has applied for the Exemption Sought.

14. During the Filer's deferred financial years, the Filer will comply with section 1.13 of Form 51-102F1 Management's Discussion and Analysis (MD&A) by providing an updated discussion of the Filer's preparations for changeover to IFRS in its annual and interim MD&A. In particular, the Filer will discuss the expected effect on the financial statements, or state that the effect cannot be reasonably estimated.

15. The Filer acknowledges that if the Exemption Sought is granted, the Filer:

(a) will be subject to Part 3 of NI 52-107 and the IFRS-related amendments to the Rules for periods relating to financial years beginning on or after January 1, 2014; and

(b) will not have the benefit of the 30 day extension to the deadline of filing the first interim financial report in the year of adopting IFRS in respect of an interim period beginning on or after January 1, 2014, as set out in the IFRS-related amendments to NI 51-102, since that extension does not apply if the first interim financial report is in respect of an interim period ending after March 30, 2014.

Decision

The principal regulator is satisfied that the decision meets the test set out in the Legislation for the principal regulator to make the decision.

1. The decision of the principal regulator under the Legislation is that the Exemption Sought is granted provided that:

(a) the Filer continues to be an investment company, as defined in and applying AcG-18;

(b) the Filer provides the communication as described and in the manner set out in paragraph 14 above;

(c) the Filer complies with the requirements in Part 4 of NI 52-107 for all financial statements (including interim financial statements), financial information, operating statements and pro forma financial statements for periods relating to the Filer's deferred financial years, as if the expression "January 1, 2011" in subsection 4.1(2) were read as "January 1, 2014";

(d) the Filer complies with the version of NI 51-102 that was in effect on December 31, 2010 (together with any amendments to NI 51-102 that are not related to IFRS and that come into force after January 1, 2011) for all documents required to be prepared, filed, delivered, or sent under NI 51-102 for periods relating to the Filer's deferred financial years;

(e) the Filer complies with the version of NI 41-101 that was in effect on December 31, 2010 (together with any amendments to NI 41-101 that are not related to IFRS and that come into effect after January 1, 2011) for any preliminary prospectus, amendment to a preliminary prospectus, final prospectus or amendment to a final prospectus of the Filer which includes or incorporates by reference financial statements of the Filer in respect of periods relating to the Filer's deferred financial years;

(f) the Filer complies with the version of NI 44-101 that was in effect on December 31, 2010 (together with any amendments to NI 44-101 that are not related to IFRS and that come into effect after January 1, 2011) for any preliminary short form prospectus, amendment to a preliminary short form prospectus, final short form prospectus or amendment to a final short form prospectus of the Filer which includes or incorporates by reference financial statements of the Filer in respect of periods relating to the Filer's deferred financial years;

(g) the Filer complies with the version of NI 44-102 that was in effect on December 31, 2010 (together with any amendments to NI 44-102 that are not related to IFRS and that come into effect after January 1, 2011) for any preliminary base shelf prospectus, amendment to a preliminary base shelf prospectus, base shelf prospectus, amendment to a base shelf prospectus or shelf prospectus supplement of the Filer which includes or incorporates by reference financial statements of the Filer in respect of periods relating to the Filer's deferred financial years;

(h) the Filer complies with the version of NI 52-109 that was in effect on December 31, 2010 (together with any amendments to NI 52-109 that are not related to IFRS and that come into effect after January 1, 2011) for all annual filings and interim filings for periods relating to the Filer's deferred financial years;

(i) the Filer complies with the version of NI 52-110 that was in effect on December 31, 2010 (together with any amendments to NI 52-110 that are not related to IFRS and that come into effect after January 1, 2011) for periods relating to the Filer's deferred financial years;

(j) if, notwithstanding this decision, the Filer decides not to rely on the Exemption Sought and files an interim financial report prepared in accordance with IFRS for an interim period in a deferred financial year, the Filer must, at the same time:

(i) restate, in accordance with IFRS, any interim financial statements for any previous interim period in the same deferred financial year (each, a Previous Interim Period) that were originally prepared in accordance with old Canadian GAAP and filed pursuant to this decision; and

(ii) file a restated interim financial report prepared in accordance with IFRS for each Previous Interim Period, together with corresponding restated interim MD&A and certificates required by NI 52-109. For greater certainty, any restated interim financial report for a Previous Interim Period must comply with applicable securities legislation (including Part 3 of NI 52-107 and the amendments to Part 4 of NI 51-102 that came into force on January 1, 2011) and any restated interim financial report for the first interim period in the deferred financial year must include the opening IFRS statement of financial position at the date of transition to IFRS; and

(k) if, notwithstanding this decision, the Filer decides not to rely on the Exemption Sought and files annual financial statements prepared in accordance with IFRS for a deferred financial year, the Filer must, at the same time (unless previously done pursuant to paragraph 10 immediately above):

(i) restate, in accordance with IFRS, any interim financial statements for any Previous Interim Period that were originally prepared in accordance with old Canadian GAAP and filed pursuant to this decision; and

(ii) file a restated interim financial report prepared in accordance with IFRS for each Previous Interim Period, together with corresponding restated interim MD&A and certificates required by NI 52-109. For greater certainty, any restated interim financial report for a Previous Period must comply with applicable securities legislation (including Part 3 of NI 52-107 and the amendments to Part 4 of NI 51-102 that came into force on January 1, 2011) and any restated interim financial report for the first interim period in the deferred financial year must include the opening IFRS statement of financial position at the date of transition to IFRS.

Blaine Young
Associate Director, Corporate Finance
Alberta Securities Commission