I want to thank Enforcement staff for their continuing dedication, perseverance, and adaptability. Enforcement’s achievements are the result of their considerable efforts, skills, and expertise.
This report highlights those achievements and the steps that Enforcement took to protect investors, protect market integrity and support healthy capital markets across Canada. This past year, we investigated matters and pursued enforcement proceedings that addressed a wide range of conduct, always focused on advancing those cases that will contribute most significantly to protecting investors and strengthening market integrity.
We continued to make progress on our strategic initiative to strengthen enforcement through enhanced legal authority. In November 2021, Newfoundland and Labrador became the sixth province to give IIROC the full enforcement toolkit (the ability to enforce fine collection through the courts, the authority to collect and present evidence during investigations and at hearings, and protection from malicious lawsuits while acting in good faith to carry out our public interest mandate). This means that IIROC is now able to enforce fine collection through the courts in every province and territory in Canada.
Like many other organizations, the ongoing pandemic has required us to make changes in our day‑to‑day operations. However, there was little impact on our ability to be fair, effective and timely. In fact, we discovered newfound efficiencies that we intend to continue with where appropriate, such as virtual investigation interviews and hearings.
In a similar vein, IIROC’s General Counsel’s Office, who administers the IIROC hearing process, has implemented a digital case system that provides a secure platform for handling and presenting evidence. This platform has been adopted by courts and administrative tribunals in Canada and abroad and will also enable IIROC to conduct in‑person electronic hearings, where documents are entered into evidence and displayed electronically. This initiative will assist Enforcement staff in litigating more complex and document intensive cases efficiently, whether in‑person or virtually.
In the upcoming year, we will continue to focus on shortening the time it takes to reach settlements or commence enforcement proceedings. Timeliness is a key component of effective deterrence and strengthening the public’s confidence in self‑regulation.
We also look forward to working with the CSA and MFDA to create a new and enhanced self‑regulatory organization to better protect investors and support healthy Canadian capital markets, including an effective and robust enforcement department.
In closing, I would like to extend my thanks to our various stakeholders. We value our relationships and dialogue with the CSA and their provincial and territorial governments, as well as other regulatory authorities with whom we collaborate to close gaps in the system, and industry and investor organizations. Together, we play important roles in continuing to protect investors and helping them meet their financial goals while protecting the integrity of Canada’s capital markets.