Christine Dobby | Nov 29, 2012 11:34 AM ET | Last Updated: Nov 30, 2012 2:04 PM ET
With the U.S. heading in this direction, it’s really important that Ontario keep pace if not even try to get out in front.
The Ontario government appears set to support changes to securities laws to allow everyday investors to buy small ownership stakes in early-stage companies not yet ready to list on public markets, a move that could help prevent the potential drain of Canadian startups south of the border.
At a conference in Toronto Thursday morning, Brad Duguid, minister of economic development and innovation, spoke about the potential benefits that equity-based crowdfunding provides for entrepreneurs and said once the Ontario Securities Commission completes a review, the provincial government would look at ways to move forward with changes.
The minister told the audience at the Technicity conference that the changes could even be in place before changes to U.S. laws under the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (or JOBS) Act come into force.
“With the U.S. heading in this direction, it’s really important that Ontario keep pace if not even try to get out in front if we can do that in a way that ensures protection for consumers and investors,” Mr. Duguid said in an interview.
The JOBS legislation, passed in April, is intended to permit non-accredited or non-sophisticated investors to buy small equity stakes in companies without the businesses going through the costly process of preparing a prospectus for a public listing.