Provinces differ on paying whistleblowers - The Lawyers Weekly

Fabrice Benoît

Sept. 29, 2016

In an article written for The Lawyers Weekly, reporter Luis Millan examines the whistleblowing programs recently launched by Canada’s two leading financial overseers – the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) and Québec’s Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF). The regulators take considerably different approaches in encouraging individuals to report misconduct. According to the article, legal observers’ opinions on the programs have been mixed.

While the OSC offers financial rewards to those who report information that leads to enforcement action, the AMF has decided against offering monetary incentives. Fabrice Benoît, a partner in Osler’s Litigation Practice Group, tells The Lawyers Weekly that the different approaches will help determine which one will be more effective. “Time will tell whether the AMF or the OSC, which opted for a different kind of whistleblowing program, will have made the right choice,” says Fabrice, who was the Investigation Director – Insider Trading and Market Manipulation at the AMF before joining Osler.

The whistleblowing programs also share some similarities, including the use of anti-retaliation measures. The AMF, however, is looking to lobby the Québec government to introduce further anti-reprisal legislation that would cover the financial services sector. The article points out that some are wondering if the AMF should have implemented the program after the legislated changes have been adopted, but Fabrice is not convinced that passing new measures would make a difference to whistleblowers. “I’ve always been a bit skeptical about this kind of legislation,” he says. “It surely is a plus that it exists but in reality will it make whistleblowers feel less stressed [about reprisals]? I doubt it.”

For more information, read Luis Millan’s full article "Provinces differ on paying whistleblowers" in The Lawyers Weekly.