Predatory short selling is now front-page news around the world thanks to the ongoing “GameStop stock surge” story. We at Save Canadian Mining (SCM) applaud the efforts of retail investment communities seeking to raise public awareness on an unfair capital market system that allows predatory short selling practices to proliferate. We feel this story helps to expose the trading activities of some large hedge funds and the effect they continue to have on small businesses trying to raise capital, hire and contribute to the economy. We trust that law makers in Canada and the public are getting a better sense of the issues we have been raising for the junior mining sector since we formed in 2019.
Save Canadian Mining applauds all legal and transparent efforts to curb predatory short selling. It is inspiring to see what can happen when a critical mass of people can come together and “fight back” against a system they feel is rigged against them. While SCM speaks for a different stakeholder group, (namely small mining companies and junior issuers) we would be remiss if we didn’t reflect the opinion of our over 3,000 supporters that have galvinized around their feelings of frustration and distrust as it relates to our capital markets. We have still today many junior mining companies dealing with these unscrupulous trading practices which we have proven have materially negatively impacted mining valuations across the board.
Recently, the Ontario Capital Markets Modernization Taskforce released a series of recommendations to the Ontario Ford government including several dealings with predatory short selling. We endorsed these recommendations in a press release last week. Implemented properly (this is key!), this could help alleviate the situation.
The Taskforce stopped short of recommending the reinstatement of the “tick test,” something we have campaigned for since our launch. Save Canadian Mining wants an end to predatory short selling and a fair and transparent system for our investors and our companies. We are hopeful these steps the Taskforce recommended will be implemented in a manner that leads to this outcome. If it does, this may mitigate the need for a tick test in the short term. But as we may soon shortly see with the GameStop phenomenon, the reinstatement of the tick test will finally be seen as a worthy tool to further protect small issuers and retail investors. After all, it worked for 142 years! We will be watching and cheering on the Ford government as they respond to this global issue that has now captured everyone’s attention.
Save Canadian Mining will be hosting several new webinars in 2021 as we continue to push for an end to predatory short selling. Watch out for a chance to attend and contribute to the discussion as we continue to focus our efforts on convincing governments across the country to take concrete steps towards protecting our investors, our companies, our employees, and our stakeholder communities from the negative impact of predatory short selling!
Urges the Ministry of Finance to Implement Recommendations
Toronto, January 25, 2021 – Today Save Canadian Mining is congratulating the Capital Markets Modernization Taskforce (the “taskforce”) on the publication of their final report to Ontario’s Minister of Finance.
“It is great to see that a number of recommendations were added to the draft report they published in the Fall,” said Terry Lynch, Executive Director of SCM. “We were pleased to share the story of junior mining companies throughout this review process, and our coalition is proud of the results of this work,” said Lynch.
One of the notable additions to the final report was a new recommendation addressing the settlement of short sales. Unlike in the US, Canada’s markets allow for “naked short selling,” a practice that allows for the short-selling of tradable assets without first borrowing the security. In 2008, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in the US banned what it termed “abusive naked short selling,” yet it remains legal in Canada. Through their recommendations, the taskforce has called on the ministry to close a key loophole related to this.
“SCM urges the ministry of Finance to support capital formation for junior issuers and implement these changes to the Securities Act as soon as possible. It is critical for our sector that these structural changes happen. Junior miners have been victims of regulatory loopholes and algorithmic and high frequency traders for too long,” said Lynch. “We look forward to working with the Ontario government on implementation and as they look to make Ontario a more attractive place to invest.”
SCM was launched in November 2019 to unify Ontario’s junior mining sector in requesting regulatory changes to Ontario’s capital markets. The organization is supported by the TSX Venture Exchange, the Ontario Mining Association, the Ontario Prospectors Association, as well as mining industry leaders like Eric Sprott (Sprott Mining Inc.), Sean Roosen (Osisko Mining Inc.), Keith Neumeyer (First Majestic Silver Corp.), and Rob McEwen (McEwen Mining Inc.), and over 3,000 supporters through its online campaign (www.savecanadianmining.com).
Since SCM’s launch, the Ontario government has publicly acknowledged that a review of the Securities Act was overdue, launched a review of the Securities Act, appointed a taskforce to consult with stakeholders, and has pledged to remove barriers to growth for small businesses trading on public exchanges.
“Predatory short selling has been an issue in the mining sector for a long time. The taskforce report is a good signal to our industry and we support the work that SCM will be doing to encourage government to implement these recommendations,” said Chris Hodgson, CEO of the Ontario Mining Association.
“Our members have been particularly hard-hit by predatory short selling. By addressing this, the taskforce has provided hope to junior mining and exploration companies. We encourage the Ministry of Finance to implement these recommendations in a timely manner,” said Garry Clark, Executive Director of the Ontario Prospectors Association.
January 4, 2021 — Today Save Canadian Mining and its founders congratulate Hon. Peter Bethlenfalvy on his recent appointment as Minister of Finance for Ontario. It was announced on December 31, 2020 that Hon. Bethlenfalvy would be assuming the role. Save Canadian Mining has been working closely with Finance and the Capital Markets Modernization Taskforce (the “taskforce”) during the formal review of the Ontario Securities Act that was launched earlier last year.
“We congratulate Minister Bethlenfalvy on this appointment and look forward to working with this new Minister of Finance as he deliberates on the recommendations of the taskforce. Save Canadian Mining is proud of its great working relationship with the Ontario government, and remain hopeful that the interests of Ontario’s small business mining community will be taken in to account as future decisions are made. We trust that Minister Bethlenfalvy will consider changes to the Ontario Securities Act carefully, and trust he will acknowledge the impact that predatory short-selling has been having on Ontario’s junior miners as he moves forward with implementation,” said Terry Lynch, Founder and CEO.
In December it was announced that the report of the CMM Taskforce had been delivered to the Minister of Finance. Save Canadian Mining has made two submissions to the taskforce and has been meeting with stakeholders since it was announced last year that the Ontario government would be reviewing the legislation governing capital markets. SCM’s principal focus remains on the existing structural issues within Ontario’s capital markets that the junior mining sector feels are unfairly allowing predatory short-sellers to target their stocks and restrict their ability to raise the capital they need to grow their businesses in the province.
“SCM and its founders are hopeful that the appointment of Hon. Peter Bethlenfalvy as Minister of Finance will mean continued attention to this worthwhile government initiative. SCM is pleased to offer its support and encouragement to the Minister and look forward to future interacations on this and other topics of relevance to junior mining and capital markets,” concluded Lynch.
Dear members of the Capital Markets Modernization Taskforce (the Taskforce) –
On behalf of Save Canadian Mining (SCM) and its founding partners, I want to thank you for the work you have been doing over the past several months. It was a pleasure meeting with you and presenting to you our opinions on which regulations in Ontario’s capital markets should be targeted as part of your review of Ontario’s Securities Act. We were encouraged by your initial report, particularly your recommendations targeting predatory short-selling and those that supported small businesses. As an advocacy group representing issuers in the junior mining sector, please know that we view your work as a very important exercise and we thank you for the attention you have paid to our concerns.
As a reminder, SCM was launched in September 2019, and has since secured the support of industry associations such as the Ontario Mining Association (OMA), the Ontario Prospectors Association (OPA), as well as notable industry investors like Eric Sprott (Sprott Mining Inc.), Rob McEwen (McEwen Mining Inc.), Keith Neumeyer (First Majestic Silver Corp.) and Sean Roosen (Osisko Mining Inc.). Many junior mining companies have lent their support to this effort and SCM has collected the “signatures” of over 2,000 supporters from across the industry who recognize short-selling is an issue holding back the industry.
This submission contains three sections. The first outlines our feedback on several key recommendations made in your initial consultation report.
The second makes a case for reinstatement of the “tick test.” We have conveyed to you in our earlier meetings and correspondence why SCM considers the tick test to be an important regulation for the junior mining sector and properly functioning capital markets, and the second section elaborates on this. The second section will also provide comments on recent meetings that SCM has had with IIROC, the body that repealed the tick test in 2012. The third represents observations and recommendations about Failed Trades and research on short selling from McMillan LLP that we received that we felt important enough to forward for further consideration. Due to the size and scope of our organization we did not have the ability to provide an in depth review. We hope the Task Force or the Ministry of Finance can devote resources to examine these issues.
Ultimately, we continue to encourage the Taskforce to revisit our recommendation that it recommend to the provincial government that the tick test should be reinstated.
Read a whole release below
TORONTO (July 10, 2020) – Save Canadian Mining (SCM) today responded to the 47 policy proposals contained within the consultation report released by Ontario’s Capital Markets Modernization taskforce last week. The advocacy group, which includes many junior mining companies as well as mining associations and TSX Venture Exchange was pleased with the attention paid to predatory short selling, which they claim has disproportionately impacted the junior mining sector for years.
“We commend the work of the taskforce and are encouraged that our message on the need for more regulatory oversight of predatory short selling has been heard. We remain hopeful that the final recommendations will include an endorsement of the “tick test” and that the government decides to reinstate this critical safeguard,” said Terry Lynch, Executive Director of SCM.
SCM has been raising awareness for the importance of the tick test (among other regulatory and structural issues within Canada’s capital markets) since the advocacy group launched in November of last year. In March 2020 the group published research that revealed a link between the removal of the tick test by IIROC in 2012 and the decrease in valuations of junior mining companies. SCM has also drawn attention to the challenges of multiple marketplaces, of which there are 14 in Canada, and the negative effect that this continues to have on both small cap companies and investors.
“It’s not an accident that mining companies have suffered disproportionately since IIROC removed the highly successful 142-year-old tick test in 2012. While commodity values have remained steady, mining company valuations have plummeted. It has been very discouraging for mining juniors and their investors,” added Lynch.
Joining SCM in its response to the initial report was Eric Sprott of Eric Sprott Mining Inc., Garry Clark, Executive Director of the Ontario Prospectors Association (OPA) and Brady Fletcher, Managing Director & Head of TSX Venture Exchange (TSXV).
“The tick test is a proven safeguard for the junior mining sector. The research is there. I encourage the taskforce to continue its work on SCM’s proposal and to ultimately recommend reinstatement of this proven market regulation,” said Eric Sprott, CEO, Sprott Mining Inc.
“Junior miners in Northern Ontario and elsewhere are pleased with the work of the taskforce and the report issued yesterday. My members have raised predatory short selling as an issue for many years. The research done by Save Canadian Mining suggests that the tick test should be reinstated and we hope the taskforce goes further in their final report,” said Garry Clark, Executive Director of the Ontario Prospectors Association.
“TSXV supports Save Canadian Mining, a group who has given voice to the interests and concerns of an important segment of this country’s economy,” said Brady Fletcher, Managing Director & Head of the TSX Venture Exchange. “While short selling can play a positive role in maintaining efficient markets, predatory short selling unfairly disadvantages junior companies in all sectors. We applaud the efforts of the taskforce in identifying key structural issues with Canadian capital markets. We look forward to working with the taskforce and our broader stakeholder community as they refine their recommendations, including a thorough review of predatory short selling and an ongoing evaluation regarding the reinstatement of the tick test.”
SCM plans to continue to work with government, financial market regulators and the taskforce in the coming weeks.
About Save Canadian Mining
Save Canadian Mining is a not-for-profit, issue-based advocacy group representing the interests of Canada’s junior mining industry and the investment community. Founded in September 2019 by Terry Lynch, CEO of Chilean Metals Inc, Save Canadian Mining is committed to working with governments and agencies to amend regulations in capital markets to help generate investment in Canada’s junior mining industry. For more information visit savecanadianmining.com
About the tick test
The tick test or “uptick rule” refers to a regulatory restriction within capital markets that prevented investors from shorting a stock as it was on a downward trajectory. The regulation was in place in Canada’s capital markets for 142 years prior to its removal by IIROC in 2012. The regulation’s purpose was to prevent the artificial depreciation of a company’s stock.
Terry Lynch, CEO and Founder, Save Canadian Mining
Toronto, Ontario–(Newsfile Corp. – November 18, 2019) – Today Terry Lynch, CEO of ChileanMetals Inc. launched Save Canadian Mining (“SCM”) – an advocacy group created to give voice to the specific interests of Canada’s junior mining sector. SCM will work to raise awareness for this important segment of the country’s economy and advocate for positive change on their behalf with government and regulatory agencies. Specifically, the campaign will be lobbying for revisions to existing marketplace rules and regulations that have created severe challenges for junior public companies in the sector.
“The current rules in our equity markets have created an environment for predatory short selling practices to thrive, particularly on our vulnerable junior markets,” said Mr. Lynch. “For smaller cap mining companies, short selling activity spooks true investors into selling prematurely,effectively stunting the growth of these businesses at critical early stages. Save Canadian Mining is dedicated to helping ensure Canada’s capital markets remain viable for junior miners now and into the future.
In 2012, the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) and the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) removed a 142-year securities trading rule known as the “ticktest.” The tick test restricted short selling to positive price changes at the time of the sale (i.e., an investor could only short a stock if it was on an upward trajectory). This change was applied not only to the main listing venue of the TSX Venture Exchange, but was equally applied across all Canadian trading venues of which there are 14 today. Since the removal of the tick test,Canadian markets have evolved, and there now exists a dynamic where Canada’s junior market sare finding it increasingly difficult to raise capital.
“Short selling activities have increased in the junior mining market since 2012,” said Lynch.”The advent of high frequency trading and algorithmic trading are exploiting the combination ofa lack of a tick test, with 14 different trading markets to the detriment of one of Canada’s most important industries.”
SCM plans to meet with government in the coming weeks to share the stories of many small businesses in the mining sector. The organization will also be sharing its desired regulatory amendments with government and the OSC for consideration shortly.
SCM has already attracted the support of many prominent voices in the mining and investment community, including: Brady Fletcher, Managing Director, and Head of the TSX Venture Exchange; Eric Sprott of Sprott Mining; Garry Clark, Executive Director of the Ontario Prospectors Association (OPA); and Chris Hodgson, President, Ontario Mining Association.
“The practice of short-selling plays a role in maintaining a healthy, efficient market. However,TSX Venture Exchange understands that certain changes to market operations in Canada,specifically related to the removal of the tick test, may have had unintended negative consequences for our junior, or more illiquid issuers,” said Brady Fletcher Managing Director,Head of TSX Venture Exchange. “We look forward to working with Save Canadian Mining and industry stakeholders to engage Canada’s regulators in evaluating the reinstatement of a tick test,and in pursuit of continued improvements to our globally unique venture market, many of which were tabled for discussion in our 2019 Trading Roundtable report available athttps://www.tsx.com/resource/en/2011/.”
“As an active investor in the mining sector, I recognize the need to reinstate the tick test rule.Save Canadian Mining is providing leadership for the junior mining community during an important time. Regulations need to change and this campaign is going to help achieve those changes.” – Eric Sprott, CEO, Sprott Mining Ltd.
“The Ontario Prospectors Association (OPA) is supporting Save Canadian Mining in its mission to work with regulators to make some very specific changes to the investment landscape for junior miners in Ontario and Canada.” – Garry Clark, Executive Director of the Ontario Prospectors Association.
Broad support for the initiative is reflected in the following quotes from prominent industry representatives:
“The Ontario Mining Association (OMA) supports Save Canadian Mining. We understand that as trong mining sector depends on the ability of junior miners to attract investment and grow into larger Canadian companies. We are pleased to see campaigns like this emerge to ensure the health of the sector.” – Chris Hodgson, President of the Ontario Mining Association
“As the CEO of a junior mining and exploration company, I am very encouraged by this announcement. It is becoming increasing difficult for companies like ours to raise the capital required to become successful in Canada and we fully support Save Canadian Mining.” – Wayne Tisdale, CEO, 21c Metals Inc.
“Capital formation is an integral part of company building. It provides the resources necessary to hire labour, purchase equipment, and de-risk projects,” said Daniel Barankin, CEO of 6ix and afounder of Save Canadian Mining. “The restoration of the tick test rule will make Canadian companies more competitive.”
Save Canadian Mining Inc.
Cell (647) 448 8044
Office (647) 649-7283