The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) is launching a pilot mediation program that will offer those who are involved in enforcement proceedings the option of resolving issues with an independent, third-party mediator. The pilot program begins on May 1 and will run until March 31, 2016.
Mediation may only take place with the consent of both OSC staff and that of the participating respondents, who must be represented by counsel. The regulator says that, in general, mediation will be available at any time after an enforcement notice has issued, provided that there is agreement between the parties. "Mediation will not be permitted to negatively impact or delay any scheduled proceedings," says the OSC. "It should not be used to delay any parties' disclosure or other pre-hearing obligations or the hearing of the matter."
As for how the process will work, once OSC staff and the respondent have agreed to enter mediation, they will select a third party mediator from a pre-approved roster. They will all have to sign confidentiality agreements, and each party will be required to provide the mediator with documents or briefs to be discussed. The OSC says that either party is permitted to withdraw from and terminate the mediation at any time, as may the mediator. Costs will be split equally between the parties.