January 25, 2018
Senior associate Rebecca Wise has spoken with Canadian Lawyer about the newly announced proposed changes to the Ontario Securities Commission’s (OSC) Whistleblower Program.
The article discusses the two proposed changes to the program, one by the Ontario government and one by the OSC.
The Ontario government has announced it intends to introduce a civil cause of action for whistleblowers who experience reprisal for cooperating with the Commission.
The OSC has proposed revisions aimed to clarify that in-house counsel who report misconduct in breach of applicable law society rules will not be eligible for a whistleblower award.
Rebecca told Canadian Lawyer that to the extent the law society raised concerns, it was not surprising there would be a push from the OSC for clarification.
“My sense is, and I think the OSC’s request for comment made it clear, that the intention was never that individuals acting in their legal capacity could be eligible for whistleblower awards,” she said.
Rebecca said she had noticed a spike in the number of whistleblower-type investigations through her own work since the OSC’s program came into force.
“I think there is more of a whistleblower culture in some companies where employees are being encouraged to come forward and companies are taking complaints they receive very seriously and conducting good investigations into them,” she told the publication.
You can read more about the two proposed changes here.