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TORONTO – One of the country’s largest pension plans has been found not to be in compliance with its governing legislation.  

The Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) released its report late today on its 3-year examination of the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System (OMERS) and its investment activities.  The purpose of the report was to investigate compliance with the Pension Benefits Act (PBA) of Ontario.

FSCO made findings with respect to OMERS’ lack of due diligence for compliance with the PBA in respect of certain investment transactions.  Specifically, it noted that, in transactions involving the Oxford Group and Borealis Capital Corporation, FSCO could not conclude that OMERS “met the standard of care, implicit in…the Act, to provide the appropriate persons with sufficient information to monitor the Plan and Fund for compliance with the requirements of the PBA”.

Sid Ryan, President of the Canadian Union of Public Employees-Ontario, said the report demonstrates the weakness of FSCO as a regulator.

“It is disappointing that FSCO, after three years of investigating, failed to release details of the potentially offending transactions or to comment on the reasonableness and appropriateness of fees that were paid to Borealis Capital Corporation, Borealis Real Estate Management Inc. or their senior executives and shareholders, among others,” Ryan said.

Ryan noted that FSCO’s report did comment on changes that must be made to make OMERS more accountable and transparent. He expected OMERS to comply and cooperate with CUPE in this effort.  In the meantime, Ryan said that CUPE will continue in the courts to get answers and real results for the over 100,000 members of CUPE who are a part of the OMERS pension plan.

“There remains a lack of proper oversight,” Ryan said.  “This is a 23-page report that took 3 years and ultimately does not address the issues raised by CUPE and the media about investments made and fees paid by the plan.  We asked Premier McGuinty to look into this years ago.  His government must act to get to the bottom of the affair.” 

For further information and background see


Sid Ryan, President, CUPE-Ontario, cell 416 209 0066

David Robbins, CUPE Communications, cell 613 878 1431

Click to read Financial Services Commission of Ontario Report on OMERS

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