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February 2018
FAIR Focus
FAIR Canada is Bridging the Gap 

The new year is under way and FAIR Canada is exploring how it can continue to bridge the gap between investors, regulators and industry.

We have been receiving very positive responses from regulators, government, industry, members of the media and other stakeholders on FAIR Canada and the Canadian Centre for Elder Law's Report on Vulnerable Investors: Elder Abuse, Financial Exploitation, Undue Influence and Diminished Mental Capacity.

The Financial and Consumer Services Commission of New Brunswick is working on these issues and released a Consultation Paper around the same time as our report was issued. New Brunswick is looking at ways to improve detection, prevention and responses to senior financial abuse. We understand that these issues are also top of mind to other regulators and entities. 

FAIR Canada believes that momentum on this issue should culminate with clear rules and procedures that can help the investment industry utilize their position in communities throughout Canada to play a critical role in elder financial abuse prevention. 
  The Team at FAIR Canada 

Financial and Consumer Services Commission Consultation Paper November 2017: Improving Detection, Prevention and Response to Senior Financial Abuse in New Brunswick

FAIR Canada and the Canadian Centre for Elder Law provided comments to New Brunswick's Financial and Consumer Services Commission on their consultation on improving detection, prevention and response to senior financial abuse in New Brunswick. FAIR Canada and CCEL urge securities regulators to adopt the six recommendations contained in their recent   joint report  along with its broader recommendations, Click  here  to read the full submission.

Director and Audit Committee Member Independence

FAIR Canada has provided  comments to the Canadian Securities Administrators ("CSA") on their Consultation Paper 52-404, Approach to Director and Audit Committee Member Independence. FAIR Canada does not support the proposed changes and believes that the current approach to determining director and audit committee member independence, which strikes an appropriate balance between prescriptive and principles based elements, should not be weakened. Lessening or eliminating the bright-line tests that have been used for over a decade to assess director and audit committee member independence would be a step backward and lead to less investor confidence in the capital markets.

FAIR Canada makes three recommendations to improve corporate governance so as to strengthen confidence in our markets and investor protection. First, it should be made clear that the independence rules and guidelines are minimum requirements, and not an exhaustive list. Second, the current independence regime should require that the majority of audit committee members and directors of venture issuers also be "independent" as defined by NI 52-110, or another suitable definition. Third, the CSA should apply its current approach to independence to the governance of group scholarship plan trusts and foundations. Specifically, there should be a requirement that the majority of the board of a group scholarship trust should not have a financial interest in the distributor and should meet the test of independence.

Market Integrity Concerns

Christina Pellegrini  writes  of how a growing number of Bay Street traders and money managers are sounding the alarm over a recent jump in how often a single brokerage executes both the "buy" and "sell" sides of a stock trade, known as internalization. FAIR Canada attended the Industry Roundtable on Internalization in Canada's Equity Markets hosted by TMX as an observer on behalf of retail investors.A summary of the roundtable was published by TMX and can be reviewed here.
Media FAIR in the Media
Free Legal Advice for Canadians Whose Investments Have been Mishandled
Marian Passmore, Chief Operating Officer of FAIR Canada and Co-Founder of the Osgoode Investor Protection Clinic joins BNN to talk about this new clinic helping Canadian investors who believe that their investments have been mishandled. 

Osgoode Investor Protection Clinic Opens the Market
The Investor Protection Clinic, a joint initiative between FAIR Canada and Osgoode Hall Law School with funding from the Law Foundation of Ontario, opened the TSX on Wednesday February 7, 2018.

Armina Ligaya of The Canadian Press, writes in stories appearing in The Globe and Mail and the Financial Post that shareholder advocates and analysts are calling on Lululemon Athletica for more disclosure after the abrupt resignation of its CEO. Frank Allen, FAIR Canada's Executive Director, is quoted as saying that shareholders and investors are entitled to a full explanation for something of this significance.

Hayley Woodin of Business Vancouver details the prevalence of elder financial abuse. Laura Tamblyn-Watts from the Canadian Centre for Elder Law (CCEL) is quoted in the article in the context of FAIR Canada and CCEL's joint Report on Vulnerable Investors.

Michelle Schriver of Advisor.ca discusses advice in the context of traditional investment advice and the movement of advice beyond investments. Frank Allen, FAIR Canada's Executive Director, states that while innovation is desirable, innovation in and of itself is not necessarily responsive to investor protection.
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