(1) General – The term “beneficial ownership” is not defined in securities legislation. Accordingly, beneficial ownership must be determined in accordance with the ordinary principles of property and trust law of a local jurisdiction. In Québec, due to the fact that the concept of beneficial ownership does not exist in civil law, the meaning of beneficial ownership has the meaning ascribed to it in section 1.4 of Regulation 14-501Q. The concept of beneficial ownership in Québec legislation is often used in conjunction with the concept of control and direction, which allows for a similar interpretation of the concept of common law beneficial ownership in most jurisdictions.
(2) Deemed beneficial ownership – Although securities legislation does not define beneficial ownership, securities legislation in certain jurisdictions may deem a person to beneficially own securities in certain circumstances. For example, in some jurisdictions, a person is deemed to beneficially own securities that are beneficially owned by a company controlled by that person or by an affiliate of such company.
(3) Post-conversion beneficial ownership – Under the Instrument, a person has “post-conversion beneficial ownership” of a security, including an unissued security, if the person is the beneficial owner of a security convertible into the security within 60 days. For example, a person who owns special warrants convertible at any time and without payment of additional consideration into common shares will be considered to have post-conversion beneficial ownership of the underlying common shares. Under the Instrument, a person who has post- conversion beneficial ownership of securities may in certain circumstances be designated or determined to be an insider and may be a reporting insider. For example, if a person owns 9.9% of an issuer’s common shares and then acquires special warrants convertible into an additional 5% of the issuer’s common shares, the person will be designated or determined to be an insider under section 1.2 of the Instrument and will be a reporting insider under subsection 1.1(1) of the Instrument.
The concept of post-conversion beneficial ownership of the underlying securities into which securities are convertible within 60 days is consistent with similar provisions for determining beneficial ownership of securities for the purposes of the early warning requirements in section 1.8 of National Instrument 62-104 Take-Over Bids and Issuer Bids.
(4) Beneficial ownership of securities held in a trust – Under common law trust law, legal ownership is commonly distinguished from beneficial ownership. A trustee is generally considered to be the legal owner of the trust property; a beneficiary, the beneficial owner. Under the Québec civil law, a trust is governed by the Québec Civil Code.
A reporting insider who has a beneficial interest in securities held in a trust may have or share beneficial ownership of the securities for insider reporting purposes, depending on the particular facts of the arrangement and upon the governing law of the trust, whether common law or civil law. We will generally consider a person to have or share beneficial ownership of securities held in a trust if the person has or shares
(a) a beneficial interest in the securities held in the trust and has or shares voting or investment power over the securities held in the trust; or
(b) legal ownership of the securities held in the trust and has or shares voting or investment power over the securities held in the trust.
(5) Disclaimers of beneficial ownership – The CSA generally will not regard a purported disclaimer of a beneficial interest in, or beneficial ownership of, securities as being effective for the purposes of determining beneficial ownership under securities legislation unless such disclaimer is irrevocable and has been generally disclosed to the public.
(6) When ownership passes – Securities legislation of certain local jurisdictions provides that ownership is deemed to pass at the time an offer to sell is accepted by the purchaser or the purchaser’s agent or an offer to buy is accepted by the vendor or the vendor’s agent. The CSA is of the view that, for the purposes of the insider reporting requirement beneficial ownership passes at the same time.
3.3 Meaning of control or direction
(1) The term “control or direction” is not defined in Canadian securities legislation except in Québec, where the Securities Act (Québec), in sections 90, 91 and 92, defines the concept of control and deems situations where a person has control over securities. For purposes of the Instrument, a person will generally have control or direction over securities if the person, directly or indirectly, through any contract, arrangement, understanding or relationship or otherwise has or shares
(a) voting power, which includes the power to vote, or to direct the voting of, such securities and/or
(b) investment power, which includes the power to acquire or dispose, or to direct the acquisition or disposition of such securities.
(2) A reporting insider may have or share control or direction over securities through a power of attorney, a grant of limited trading authority, or a management agreement. This would also include a situation where a reporting insider acts as a trustee for an estate (or in Québec as a liquidator) or other trust in which securities of the reporting insider’s issuer are included within the assets of the trust. This may also be the case if a spouse (or any other person related to the reporting insider) owns the securities or acts as trustee, but the reporting insider has or shares control or direction over the securities held in trust. In addition, this may be the case where the reporting insider is an officer or director of another issuer that owns securities of the reporting insider’s issuer and the reporting insider is able to influence the investment or voting decisions of the issuer.