As noted in The 10b-5 Daily late last year, the Canadian province of Ontario is set to implement new securities class action legislation. The most significant change is the creation of a broader private right of action for shareholders who purchased their shares in the secondary market. The Toronto Globe and Mail had an article in yesterday’s edition discussing the legislation and the need for Canadian companies to implement new disclosure policies in response to the increased litigation risk.
Quote of note: “Until now, investors who bought shares on the secondary market were able to sue only by alleging outright fraud as opposed to mere negligence. They also had to prove they relied on the misrepresentation when they bought or sold shares, an argument challenging to prove in court. By contrast, the new legislation makes no such stipulation, automatically assuming the plaintiff relied on the information. It is mainly for these reasons that a coalition of companies, including Alcan Inc., had opposed the bill, which was in the works for years. Those objectors pointed to the United States where, by contrast, plaintiffs must demonstrate that a defendant knowingly made a misleading or false statement.”