Investor advocacy group returns $2M to Jarislowsky Foundation amid cash crunch

Investor advocacy group returns $2M to Jarislowsky Foundation amid cash crunch
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TORONTO — Investor advocacy group FAIR Canada is struggling to obtain funding and says it has returned $2.4 million to the Jarislowsky Foundation because it was unable to meet the condition of matching it by 200 per cent.

The Toronto-based non-profit says it has reached out to governments, securities regulators, and self-regulatory organizations over the years which have been “generally unwilling to provide adequate support.”

The independent organization whose aim is to provide a voice for Canadian investors says it received $2 million in endowment funding in 2012 from the foundation founded by billionaire investor Stephen Jarislowsky, with a deadline of Sept. 30, 2014 to meet the 200 per cent matching condition.

FAIR Canada says it was able to obtain $2 million in endowment funding from the Ontario Securities Commission in 2014 but was not able to secure the additional $2 million required.

The deadline has been extended multiple times with a final deadline of Sept. 30, 2019, and alongside the return of funds, Jarislowsky has stepped down from FAIR Canada’s board of directors.

The national organization says it applied to the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada in 2018 for $2 million in endowment funding “as a last resort” to meet the latest deadline and was rejected, but the self-regulatory body agreed to $250,000 in operational funding.

“Government, regulators and the financial services industry have a responsibility to fund a professional investor rights organization who advocates on behalf of ordinary Canadians,” FAIR Canada said in a release. “The everyday investor and financial consumer represent a majority of the population and workforce of this country. Everyday investors have earned the right to be represented and heard.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 18, 2019.

The Canadian Press

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