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Civil Liability For Secondary Market Disclosure To Be Effective In Ontario At Year-End


Area Corporate and Commercial, Corporate Finance and Securities


Culminating a process that began in October, 2002 with the introduction of Bill 198, the Province of Ontario has announced that significant amendments to the Securities Act (Ontario) will take effect on December 31, 2005 introducing civil liability for secondary market disclosure.  The amendments will impact virtually all participants in Ontario's capital markets, including issuers, investors, directors, officers and auditors.

Civil liability for secondary market disclosure means that investors will more easily be able to hold issuers responsible for the accuracy and completeness of information provided in documents such as financial statements and press releases that companies release on an ongoing basis.  The Securities Act previously provided such rights to investors with respect to misrepresentations in prospectuses for public offerings of securities in the primary market but not for continuous disclosure documents in the secondary market.

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