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ASC Introduces Anticipated Whistleblower Policy

  • ASC Policy 15-602 and accompanying amendments to the Alberta Securities Act took effect November 19, 2018.  The Policy attempts to balance the value of insider insights into securities-related misconduct (insider trading and tipping, market manipulation or issues with financial reporting or corporate disclosure obligations) while acknowledging that many hesitate to  disclose misconduct for fear of personal repercussions. 

    The Policy sets out the process for submitting a whistleblower tip, including a phone tip line, a Whistleblower Form submission process and an anonymous tipping procedure, albeit the latter is discouraged and may not attract the same protections afforded a named whistleblower.  

    The Policy provides for certain confidentiality measures intended to protect the identity or identifying information of the whistleblower and his or her relatives, including a stipulation that this information is not compellable through Alberta's Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, and a prohibition against reprisals against the whistleblower.

    In contrast to Ontario Securities Commission's whistleblower policy which offers awards of up to $5 million for information from a whistleblower leading to an administrative proceeding that results in sanctions, the ASC's Policy does not offer any financial rewards for whistleblower tips.