Montréal – The Autorité des marchés financiers (“AMF”) welcomes the adoption yesterday by the Québec National Assembly of Bill 72, entitled “An Act to amend the Securities Act and other legislative provisions”. The measures found in Bill 72 are designed to better protect consumers.

The Bill introduces new measures. For example, the AMF may impose administrative monetary penalties in the case, among others, of insider reports which are not filed or which are filed late. These penalties are in addition to the publication of the names of late filers and possible court action.

Note also that the maximum fine is increased by one million dollars to five million dollars.

This legislation also makes it possible to force financial intermediaries to set up compliance training programs and encourages the communication of confidential information as part of the fight against economic crime. “The adoption of this bill gives the AMF additional powers to enhance its mission to protect Québec consumers of financial products and services”, said Jean St-Gelais, the AMF’s President and CEO. “We welcome the initiative of the Québec Minister of Finance, Yves Séguin, who with this Bill has strengthened Québec’s financial legislation and enhanced investor protection.”

Established on February 1, 2004, the Autorité des marchés financiers is the regulatory and oversight body for Québec's financial sector. The AMF consists of the Commission des valeurs mobilières du Québec, the Bureau des services financiers, the Régie de l'assurance-dépôts du Québec, the Fonds d'indemnisation des services financiers and the Inspector General of Financial Institutions.

- 30 -

Information:

Media only:
Philippe Roy (514) 940-2176

Issuers, dealers, advisers and representatives:
(877) 525-0337, Dial 9 for English, then 1 for industry

Consumers and investors:
(877) 525-0337, Dial 1 for English, then 2 for consumers