General – Subsection 1.1(1) of the Instrument contains the definition of “reporting insider”. The definition represents a principles-based approach to determining which insiders should file insider reports and enumerates a list of insiders whom we think generally satisfy both of the following criteria:
(i) the insider in the ordinary course receives or has access to information as to material facts or material changes concerning the reporting issuer before the material facts or material changes are generally disclosed; and
(ii) the insider directly or indirectly, exercises, or has the ability to exercise, significant power or influence over the business, operations, capital or development of the reporting issuer.
In addition to enumerating a list of insiders, the definition also includes, in paragraph (i), a “basket” provision that explicitly states these two criteria. The basket provision articulates the fundamental principle that an insider who satisfies the criteria of routine access to material undisclosed information concerning a reporting issuer and significant influence over the reporting issuer should file insider reports.
(2) Interpreting the basket criteria – The CSA consider that insiders who come within the enumerated list of positions in the definition of reporting insider will generally satisfy the criteria of routine access to material undisclosed information and significant influence over the reporting issuer. We recognize that this may not always be the case for certain positions in the definition and have therefore included an exemption in section 9.3 of the Instrument for directors and officers of significant shareholders based on lack of routine access to material undisclosed information.
If an insider does not fall within any of the enumerated positions, the insider should consider whether the insider has access to material undisclosed information and has influence over the reporting issuer that is reasonably commensurate with that of one or more of the enumerated positions. If the insider satisfies both of these criteria, the insider will fall within the basket provision of the reporting insider definition.
(3) Meaning of significant power or influence – In determining whether an insider satisfies the significant influence criterion, the insider should consider whether the insider exercises, or has the ability to exercise, significant influence over the business, operations, capital or development of the issuer that is reasonably comparable to that exercised by one or more of the enumerated positions in the definition.
Certain positions or relationships with the issuer may give rise to reporting insider status in the case of certain issuers but not others, depending on the importance of the position or relationship to the business, operations, capital or development of the particular issuer. Similarly, the importance of a position or relationship to an issuer may change over time. For example, the directors and the CEO, CFO and COO of a 20 per cent subsidiary (i.e. not a “major subsidiary”, as defined in the Instrument) who are not reporting insiders for any other reason may be reporting insiders prior to and during a significant business acquisition or reorganization, or a market moving announcement.
(4) Exercise of reasonable judgment – The determination of whether an insider is a reporting insider based on the criteria in the basket provision will generally be a question of reasonable judgment. The CSA expect insiders to make reasonable determinations after careful consideration of all relevant facts but recognize that a reasonable determination may not always be a correct determination. The CSA recommend that insiders consult with their issuers when making this determination since confirming that the insider’s conclusion is consistent with the issuer’s view may help establish that a determination was reasonable. Insiders may also wish to seek professional advice or consider the reporting status of individuals in similar positions with the issuer or other similarly situated issuers.