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Goodmans Publications

The Migration Of Sarbanes-Oxley

July-2-2003

Area Corporate Finance and Securities

Summary


On June 27, 2003, the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) released for comment three rules that it believes are necessary to restore investor confidence in Canada's capital markets.  Following the pattern set by the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 in the United States, the rules contemplate:

  • certification of annual and interim disclosures by an issuer’s chief executive officer and chief financial officer,
  • increased independence, competence and responsibility for audit committees, and
  • support for the Canadian Public Accountability Board in its oversight of external auditors.

The proposed rules are, in large measure, similar to those adopted south of the border.  Issuers that are already subject to the U.S. regulatory regime will be largely unaffected by the proposed rules.  The measures will, however, require other reporting issuers in Canada to begin to address the procedural and substantive requirements that have occupied significant amounts of time and resources over the past year for issuers subject to Sarbanes-Oxley.

The currently scheduled implementation date for a majority of the initiatives is January 1, 2004.  The comment period for the new rules expires September 25, 2003.

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