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Nov 13, 2003
Canadian securities regulators are advising public companies and their professional advisors that they should anticipate new deadlines and obligations for financial reporting under proposed national continuous disclosure requirements applying to financial years beginning in 2004.
If adopted, the new rule -- National Instrument 51-102 Continuous Disclosure Obligations – will require many companies with fiscal years beginning on or after Jan. 1, 2004 to file their first quarter interim financial statements earlier than before – within 45 days after the end of the quarter, rather than the current practice of 60 days. Only companies categorized as venture issuers will continue to have 60 days to file their interim financial statements. Other information relating to timing of the proposed rule is set out in CSA Staff Notice 51-307 Status of Proposed Continuous Disclosure Rule published November 7, 2003.
“While we are still awaiting the necessary commission and ministerial approvals before these changes can come into effect, we don’t want companies to be caught off-guard by the anticipated new requirements,” said Stephen Sibold, chair of the Canadian Securities Administrators.
Sibold said that the CSA is issuing a notice to all reporting issuers and their professional advisors to assist them in planning and scheduling their directors’ meetings and other reporting obligations.
Companies should note that, if the new rule is implemented, management discussion and analysis (MD&A) will have to be prepared and filed in the form prescribed by the new rule, starting with first quarters ending on or after March 31, 2004. The MD&A will have to be filed at the same time as the financial statements.
The rule was proposed to end the situation in which companies must meet different disclosure requirements in multiple jurisdictions in which they report. The continuous disclosure documents that most companies must currently file include: financial statements, annual information forms, MD&A, material change reports, information circulars and executive compensation statements.
The CSA is a council of the 13 securities regulators of Canada's provinces and territories. It coordinates and harmonizes regulation for the Canadian capital markets. More information is available at the CSA website, www.csa-acvm.ca.
Media relations contacts:
Alberta Securities Commission
B.C. Securities Commission
1-800-373-6393 (B.C. & Alberta only)
Ontario Securities Commission
Commission des valeurs mobilières du Québec
1-800-361-5072 (Québec only)
Manitoba Securities Commission
1-800-655-5244 (Manitoba only)