10/28/2015 12:09 EDT | Updated 10/28/2016 05:12 EDT

Ontario Whistleblowers Could Get $5 Million Reward Under New Rules

TORONTO — Ontario's securities watchdog has boosted its proposed reward for corporate whistleblowers to as much as $5 million.

In its previous proposal to reward those who come forward with information about accounting fraud, insider trading and market manipulation, the Ontario Securities Commission had suggested capping reward payments at $1.5 million.

However, some experts deemed that too stingy to spur senior executives to come forward.

But whistleblowers must meet certain requirements to be eligible for an award, including that the information they provide is of "meaningful assistance" to the commission and that the case results in at least $1 million of sanctions being ordered. If eligible, the whistleblower could receive between five and 15 per cent of the sanctions ordered.

Payouts will still be capped at $1.5 million unless the securities regulator is able to collect at least $10 million in sanctions related to the case. In such cases, the whistleblower will receive between five and 15 per cent of the sanctions collected, up to a maximum of $5 million.

The OSC is seeking comment on its new proposal by Jan. 16 and aims to have the program by in place by next spring. If implemented, the program would be the first of its kind for Canadian securities regulators.