CANADA Pot ex­change pub­lishes investors’ per­sonal info

In­vest­ment in­for­ma­tion crosses pri­vacy bound­aries: share­holder rights ad­vo­cate


The Cana­dian Se­cu­ri­ties Ex­change has been pub­lish­ing per­sonal in­for­ma­tion of investors on its web­site for 15 years, in­clud­ing home ad­dresses and amounts of their in­vest­ments, a prac­tice one share­holder rights ad­vo­cate calls a “dis­turb­ing” breach of pri­vacy.

The CSE, a small stock ex­change that’s raised its pro­file by be­com­ing the go-to list­ing spot for many cannabis com­pa­nies, has had an in­ter­nal rule in place since 2003 that re­quires it to pub­lish data on its web­site for all pri­vate place­ment trans­ac­tions. The re­sult is that thou­sands of names, com­plete ad­dresses and de­tails on the value QUE­BEC—Lib­eral Leader Philippe Couil­lard may de­cide to trig­ger Que­bec’s gen­eral elec­tion cam­paign sev­eral days ear­lier than ex­pected, ac­cord­ing to Ra­dio-Canada.

The CBC’s French-lan­guage net­work re­ported that and price of each in­vest­ment is posted on what’s known as a Form 9. There were 5,845 such forms pub­licly avail­able on the CSE’s web­site on Aug. 3.

The CSE dis­clo­sures raise per­sonal pri­vacy con­cerns, said Frank Allen, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of FAIR Canada, an in­vestor rights group.

“The ex­tent of per­sonal in­vestor in­for­ma­tion re­quired by the CSE’s Form 9 is dis­turb­ing and in our view goes be­yond the level of in­for­ma­tion nec­es­sary for the CSE to dis­charge its pri­vate place­ment reg­u­la­tory man­date,” Allen said in an email, not­ing that the par­al­lel dis­clo­sure form re­quired un­der Cana­dian se­cu­ri­ties laws keeps investors’ per­sonal in­for­ma­tion con­fi­den­tial.

The pol­icy has been an an­noy­ance for some. Tarik El­saghir, pres­i­dent of Cedar

sources close to the premier say he’s con­sid­er­ing ex­tend­ing the cam­paign in or­der to throw Fran­cois Le­gault’s surg­ing Coali­tion Avenir Que­bec into the po­lit­i­cal arena for a longer stretch.

While the vote would still be held on Oct. 1 as planned, the length of the cam­paign would be ex­tended from the min­i­mum 33 days to as much as the max­i­mum 39 days. Point Cap­i­tal Inc., a fam­ily of­fice in Cal­gary, said he’s re­ceived un­so­licited pitches on other stocks from peo­ple who got his firm’s in­for­ma­tion off the CSE’s web­site. A Form 9 filed on June 15 shows Cedar Point bought 500,000 shares of Ti­dal Roy­alty Corp. at 33 cents a share. Ti­dal didn’t re­turn calls seek­ing com­ment.

In­di­vid­ual buy­ers in th­ese pri­vate place­ments tend to be wealthy, get­ting “ac­cred­ited” in­vestor ex­emp­tions, mean­ing they have per­sonal fi­nan­cial assets of more than $1 mil­lion or in­come of at least $200,000.

Richard Car­leton, chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer of CSE’s par­ent com­pany CNSX Mar­kets Inc., said the Toronto-based CSE is look­ing to re­vise the rule af­ter re­ceiv­ing feed­back from is­suer com­pa­nies, ex­empt mar­ket deal­ers and investors sup­port­ing a change in the pol­icy. The ex­change plans to pub­lish for pub­lic com­ment amend­ments that would re­move the re­quire­ment for com­pa­nies to dis­close the names, ad­dresses and num­ber of shares ac­quired by arm’s-length investors, he said. Richard Car­leton, chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer of CSE’s par­ent com­pany CNSX Mar­kets Inc.

Couil­lard mulls early elec­tion start: Re­port

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