Canada's Securities Regulators Streamline Short Form Prospectus System

Toronto - The Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) are streamlining the short form prospectus system to more fully integrate the disclosure systems for the primary and secondary markets and to address deficiencies and ambiguities in the current rules. The changes are designed to allow issuers to efficiently access the capital markets by depending increasingly on their existing continuous disclosure record. The new rule National Instrument 44-101 Short Form Prospectus Distributions also broadens access to the short form prospectus system to allow more issuers to benefit from the streamlined system.

While recent and ongoing developments are enhancing and harmonizing the continuous disclosure requirements for reporting issuers and investment funds, the proposed changes to the short form prospectus system are now possible given the improvements in continuous disclosure. These improvements are the result of the CSA's increased focus and allocation of resources to reviews of continuous disclosure documents and processes. As well, advances in technology and the availability of continuous disclosure documents on the System for Electronic Document Analysis and Retrieval (SEDAR) have enhanced investors' access to continuous disclosure documents.

"By harmonizing and integrating the short form prospectus regime with the new continuous disclosure regime, we are creating a universal, seamless, integrated and expedited offering system,"; commented Jean St. Gelais, Chair of the CSA and of the AMF. “The new system can allow issuers to respond more quickly and efficiently to market opportunities without diminishing the information and protection available to investors.”

The new rule will come into effect on December 30, 2005, subject to ministerial approval. NI 44-101 and all related materials can be found on websites of Canadian securities regulators.

The CSA, the council of the securities regulators of Canada's provinces and territories, coordinates and harmonizes regulation for the Canadian capital markets.

Media Relations Contacts:

Ontario Securities Commission
Eric Pelletier
(toll free in Canada)
Alberta Securities Commission
Joni Delaurier
Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF)
Philippe Roy
1-800-361-5072 (Québec only)
British Columbia Securities Commission
Andrew Poon
(B.C. & Alberta only)