Investor Office
July 27, 2016
Exempt Market 101

Until recently, the exempt market has been a section of Ontario's capital markets that has only been open to certain types of investors. However, recent changes to the rules regulating the exempt market have made it more accessible for investors, providing them with new investing opportunities and offering businesses new sources of capital.

When someone talks about investing in the exempt market, they're referring to purchasing an investment product that is exempt from providing certain information to investors in the form of a prospectus. Because of the reduced disclosure requirements, there are some restrictions on who can invest, and how much they can invest, in the exempt market in order to better protect investors.

There are a number of different prospectus exemptions, each with its own rules about who can use the exemption to buy and sell an investment product. Investors can check out our explainer to learn more about investing in the exempt market, including some of the risks, and people from the industry can visit the OSC's dedicated exempt market website to learn more.




New Whistleblower Program

The OSC's Office of the Whistleblower ( is now open and accepting tips about possible violations of Ontario securities law. It's the first paid whistleblower program by a securities regulator in Canada, offering up to $5 million for those who report information that leads to enforcement action. Read coverage of the Office's launch in the Financial Post, Global News and BNN. Click below to learn more about the program and the protections available to whistleblowers from Chief Kelly Gorman.


Meet Huston Loke, Corporate Finance Director

Huston Loke is the Director of the OSC's Corporate Finance branch, which regulates Ontario's issuers and leads the Commission's issuer-related policy initiatives, including the exempt market review. The Investor Office recently sat down with Huston to talk about his background and the role his team plays in overseeing the exempt market.


Fact Card: The Exempt Market Explained

Embed this Fact Card from the Investor Office on your website, article or blog to help your audience understand more about what the exempt market is and the types of investments that can be sold through it. Our Fact Cards are embeddable, shareable and mobile-friendly. Visit the OSC website to see the current library of Fact Cards.



Equity Crowdfunding is the Investor Office’s interactive guide to equity crowdfunding. Before you consider this type of investment, make sure you know how crowdfunding works and the risks of investing. Learn what makes it different from other forms of crowdfunding, how the process works and the key points to consider before deciding if equity crowdfunding is right for you.


Understanding Key Features of NVCC Securities

Non-Viable Contingent Capital securities, or NVCCs, are securities with distinct risk and suitability factors that investors should consider carefully before adding these types of assets to their portfolios. Investors and advisors can learn more about NVCCs and the risks associated with these types of assets in our new guide to the key features of banks' subordinated debt and preferred share offerings.




Proposals to Enhance the Obligations of Advisors, Dealers and Representatives Toward Their Clients

Comments due: September 30, 2016 [new deadline]

The Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) – the umbrella organization of Canada’s provincial and territorial securities regulators that includes the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) – believe that the current regulatory framework requires improvements and that the status quo must change. The CSA has proposed a number of changes to improve the investor-advisor relationship. The OSC, along with most other CSA members, is also seeking comments on a proposed "best interest standard." Learn more.




Wirestech Limited (operating as BigOption[dot]com)

The OSC added Wirestech Limited, operating as BigOption[dot]com, to its Investor Warning List on June 29. Investors are warned that Wirestech Limited is not registered in Ontario to trade securities or to advise anyone regarding investing in, buying or selling securities. Learn more.


Mountain Rider Ltd. (operating as Option Ridge)

On June 29, the OSC added Mountain Rider Ltd., operating as Option Ridge, to its Investor Warnings List. Mountain Rider Ltd. is not registered in Ontario to trade securities or to advise anyone regarding investing in, buying or selling securities. Learn more.


SAL Ltd. (operating as WinOptions)

The OSC has added SAL Ltd., operating as Win Options to its Investor Warning List as of June 29. SAL Ltd. is not registered in Ontario to trade securities or to advise anyone regarding investing in, buying or selling securities. Learn more.


Key Dates


OSC in the Community: Protect Your Money

  • Cambridge – August 9, 2016

  • Markham – August 16, 2016

  • Toronto (Etobicoke) – August 17, 2016

OSC staff are taking the Commission's regulatory mandate from Bay Street to Main Street with seminars on preventing fraud and making informed investment decisions. Learn more.

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Here's a tip!

If you're thinking about working with an advisor to invest your money, make sure you ask them these 8 questions first!

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