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Canadian securities regulators grant firms new COVID-19 disclosure extensions

Canadian securities regulators have announced new COVID-19 related disclosure extensions for investment funds and other issuers.

The Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA), a harmonising body for Canada's territorial regulatory system, said the temporary relief was applicable to issuers and investment funds with the following filing deadlines:

  • For investment funds, the blanket relief provides a 60-day extension for filing, delivery and prospectus renewal due during the period from June 2, 2020 to September 30, 2020.
  • For non-investment fund issuers, the relief provides a 45-day extension for filing, delivery, and base shelf prospectus renewal obligations due during the period from June 2, 2020 to August 31, 2020.

Issuers that already used prior relief to extend filing, delivery, and prospectus deadlines that would have occurred on or before June 1, 2020 cannot use this relief to further extend those deadlines, regulators said.

"To rely on the relief, non-investment fund issuers must issue a news release before the required filing deadline and comply with other conditions," the CSA said. "Issuers and their counsel are encouraged to review the respective orders to ensure compliance with these conditions."

MCTOs for non-investment fund issuers

Individual commissions will consider granting management cease trade orders (MCTOs) for non-investment fund issuers that already extended the deadlines and remain unable to meet disclosure obligations, but anticipate being able to comply shortly thereafter, the notice said. Regulators will likely reduce the usual MCTO period to account for the 45-day extension, it added. MCTOs restrict officers and directors from trading and may be issued by regulators in lieu of failure-to-file trading suspensions.

"The CSA is implementing the relief through local blanket orders that are substantially harmonized across the country," regulators said. "Market participants can view these orders on CSA members’ websites and are encouraged to contact their principal regulator with any questions."

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