The CSA says it will release guidance for transitioning to virtual annual general meetings
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic and the consequent social distancing measures imposed by public health authorities, the Canadian Securities Administrators has provided a 45-day extension for certain periodic filings.
The exemption covers “financial statements, management’s discussion and analysis, management reports of fund performance, annual information forms, technical reports and certain other filings” with deadlines set on or before June 1. The CSA will not require those who avail of the extension and who meet the requirements for such to file a management cease trade order, which it had suggested in an earlier news release.
The CSA has also provided a 45-day extension to the comment periods for all CSA proposals presently out for comment.
The CSA then said that it would be releasing guidance on making changes to annual general meetings, as issuers have been contemplating holding such meetings virtually. The CSA agreed that pursuing a virtual alternative may help limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
According to Louis Morisset, chairperson of the CSA and president and chief executive officer of the Autorité des marchés financiers, the CSA is staying committed to safeguarding investors throughout the COVID-19 crisis. She said that these measures were designed to “ensure market participants have the flexibility they need to focus on critical business decisions while managing risks to their employees, investors, customers and other stakeholders.”
The CSA said that it would continuously keep track of the evolving situation and adapt these measures as needed. In the meantime, the CSA urges issuers to reach out to their principal regulators if they have any questions or concerns.