Margaret Grottenthaler -
The Ontario Government released its 2012 budget this afternoon and, in doing so, stated its intention to amend the cash collateral provisions of the Personal Property Securities Act to facilitate the granting of first priority security interests in cash. These changes will not be in this budget bill, but hopefully will be introduced as a bill in the fall.
Specifically, the Government, according to its budget summary, intends to:
propose legislative changes...to Ontario’s personal property security legislation, to make it easier for businesses and financial institutions to provide or obtain a first-priority security interest in cash collateral. If enacted, these changes would support a competitive Ontario business climate, help meet Canada’s international financial reform commitments and mitigate financial system risk related to over-the-counter derivatives.
Presumably this budget statement is intended to clearly convey to the market the government’s commitment to making these important changes. As I discussed in a post last month, the Ontario Personal Property Security Law Sub-Committee of the Ontario Bar Association’s Business Law Section released a proposal earlier this year to amend the PPSA to deal more effectively with cash collateral. While the exact nature of the Government's amendments remain to be seen, the OBA subcommittee's recommended changes will be influential in developing the particular solution to give secured parties holding cash collateral the same degree of legal certainty as to their priority against other creditors that the Securities Transfer Act, 2006 provides to holders of securities as collateral.