SECURITIES COMMISSIONS - Appeal from decisions of the Commission

Law360 Canada (January 30, 2023, 8:59 AM EST) -- Appeal by Mountainstar Gold Inc. (Mountainstar) and Johnson (Appellants) from Securities Commission’s liability and sanctions decision on grounds of procedural fairness. The British Columbia Securities Commission found that Mountainstar made repeated false and misleading statements in its required public filings concerning certain Chilean mining claims. The panel also found that Johnson, an officer and a director of Mountainstar, authorized, permitted or acquiesced in Mountainstar’s contraventions. The Executive Director presented Ossa as an expert witness while the Appellants presented Lopehandia. The panel issued its liability findings against the Appellants and made an order that all persons permanently cease trading in, and be prohibited from purchasing, any securities of Mountainstar. The panel made orders against Johnson, including broad, permanent orders prohibiting Johnson from participating in the securities market and to pay an administrative penalty of $150,000. The Appellants were granted leave to appeal both the liability and sanctions decisions. They submitted the panel erred in relying on the evidence of the Executive Director’s expert witness, Ossa, because he lacked expertise and relevant first-hand knowledge. They claimed the panel erred in its wholesale rejection of Lopehandia’s first-hand, material, relevant, personal evidence and the panel breached its duty to provide reasons that were responsive to the live issues in both the liability and sanctions decisions....
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