For Immediate Release
January 7, 2005

Canada's Securities Regulators Propose to Streamline Short Form Prospectus System

Calgary - The Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) are proposing to streamline the short form prospectus system to more fully integrate the disclosure systems for the primary and secondary markets and to update the current rules. The proposed changes are designed to allow issuers to efficiently access the capital markets by depending increasingly on their existing continuous disclosure record. The proposed rule also contemplates broadening access to the short form prospectus system to allow more issuers to benefit from the streamlined system.

"By harmonizing and integrating the short form prospectus regime with the new continuous disclosure regime, we are creating a seamless, integrated and expedited offering system," commented Stephen Sibold, Chair of the CSA and of the Alberta Securities Commission."The new system can allow issuers to respond more quickly and efficiently to market opportunities without diminishing the information and protection available to investors."

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.

The proposed rule is intended to replace the current short form prospectus distribution rule and related forms and companion policy that came into effect in all CSA jurisdictions on December 31, 2000. The proposed rule and other proposed consequential amendments to certain other national instruments are available on several CSA members' websites.

The CSA seek public comment on the proposed rule by April 8, 2005 and plan to implement the proposed rule in July, 2005. Depending in part on the comments received, the amendments proposed may be adopted in their entirety or in part.

The CSA is the council of the securities regulators of Canada's provinces and territories whose objectives are to improve, coordinate and harmonize regulation of the Canadian capital markets.

Media Relations Contacts:

Joni Delaurier
Alberta Securities Commission
403-297-4481 

 
Wendy Dey
Ontario Securities Commission
416-593-8120
1-877-785-1555 (toll free in Canada)