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Corporate Governance

Audit Committee Charter


Audit Committee of the Board of Directors
August 22, 2008

Mandate

  1. Role and Objective

    The Audit Committee (the "Committee") is a committee of the Board of Directors (the "Board") of Chesstown Capital Inc. (the "Corporation") established for the purpose of overseeing the accounting and financial reporting process of the Corporation and external audits of the consolidated financial statements of the Corporation. In connection therewith, the Committee assists the Board in fulfilling its oversight responsibilities in relation to the Corporation's internal accounting standards and practices, financial information, accounting systems and procedures, financial reporting and statements and the nature and scope of the annual external audit. The Committee also recommends for Board approval, the Corporation's audited annual consolidated financial statements and other mandatory financial disclosure.

    The Corporation's external auditor is accountable to the Board and the Committee as representatives of the shareholders of the Corporation. The Committee shall be directly responsible for overseeing the relationship of the external auditor. The Committee shall have such access to the external auditor as it considers necessary or desirable in order to perform its duties and responsibilities. The external auditor shall report directly to the Committee.

    The objectives of the Committee are to:

    1. Be satisfied with the credibility and integrity of financial reports;
    2. Support the Board in meeting its oversight responsibilities in respect of the preparation and disclosure of financial reporting, including the consolidated financial statements of the Corporation;
    3. Facilitate communication between the Board and the external auditor and to receive all reports of the external auditor directly from the external auditor;
    4. Be satisfied with the external auditor's independence and objectivity; and
    5. Strengthen the role of independent directors by facilitating in-depth discussions between members of the Committee, management and the Corporation's external auditor.
  2. Composition
    1. The Committee shall comprise at least three directors, the majority of whom shall be independent directors. Each independent Committee member shall satisfy the independence, financial literacy and experience requirements of applicable securities laws, rules or guidelines, any applicable stock exchange requirements or guidelines and any other applicable regulatory rules. Determinations as to whether a particular director satisfies the requirements for membership on the Committee shall be made by the Board.
    2. Members of the Committee shall be appointed by the Board. Each member shall serve until his/her successor is appointed, unless he/she shall resign or be removed by the Board or he/she shall otherwise cease to be a director of the Corporation. The Board shall fill any vacancy if the membership of the Committee is less than three directors.
    3. The Chair of the Committee may be designated by the Board or, if it does not do so, the members of the Committee may elect a Chair by vote of a majority of the full Committee membership. The Committee Chair shall satisfy independence (as described above B.l), financial literacy and experience requirements.
    4. The Committee shall have access to such officers and employees of the Corporation and to such information respecting the Corporation as it considers to be necessary or advisable in order to perform its duties and responsibilities. The Committee shall have the authority to engage and compensate an outside adviser.
  3. Meetings
    1. The Committee shall meet at least four times annually at such times and at such locations as the Chair of the Committee shall determine. Any two members of the Committee may also request a meeting of the Committee.
    2. The quorum for meetings shall be a majority of the members of the Committee, present in person or by telephone or by other telecommunication device that permits all persons participating in the meeting to hear each other.
    3. The Chair shall, in consultation with management, establish the agenda for the meetings and instruct management to ensure that properly prepared agenda materials are circulated to the Committee with sufficient time for study prior to the meeting.
    4. Every question at a Committee meeting shall be decided by a majority of the votes cast.
    5. Each of the Chief Executive Office and Chief Financial Officer of the Corporation shall be available to advise the Committee, shall receive notice of all meetings of the Committee and may attend meetings at the invitation of the Chair of the Committee. The Chair of the Committee shall hold in camera sessions of the Committee, without management present, at every meeting.
    6. A Committee member, or any other person selected by the Committee, shall be appointed at each meeting to act as secretary for the purpose of recording the minutes of each meeting.
    7. The Committee shall provide the Board with a summary of all meetings together with a copy of the minutes from such meetings. Where minutes have not yet been prepared, the Chair shall provide the Board with oral reports on the activities of the Committee. All information reviewed and discussed by the Committee at any meeting shall be retained and made available for examination by the Board upon request to the Chair.
    8. The Committee shall meet periodically with the external auditor (in connection with the preparation of the annual financial statements and otherwise as the Committee may determine), part or all of each such meeting to be in the absence of management.
  4. Responsibilities

    The Committee is established to assist the Board in fulfilling its oversight responsibilities with respect to the accounting and financial reporting processes of the Corporation and external audits of the Corporation's consolidated financial statements. In that regard, the Committee shall:

    1. Satisfy itself on behalf of the Board with respect to the Corporation's internal control systems including identifying, monitoring and mitigating business risks as well as compliance with legal, ethical and regulatory requirements. The Committee shall also review with management, the external auditor and, if necessary, legal counsel, any litigation, claim or other contingency (including tax assessments) that could have a material effect on the financial position or operating results of the Corporation (on a consolidated basis), and the manner in which these matters may be, or have been, disclosed in the financial statements;
    2. Review with management and the external auditor the annual consolidated financial statements of the Corporation, the reports of the external auditor thereon and related financial reporting, including Management's Discussion and Analysis and earnings press releases (collectively, "Annual Financial Disclosure") prior to their submission to the Board for approval. This process should include, but not be limited to:
      1. reviewing changes in accounting principles, or in their application, which may have a material impact on the current or future year's financial statements;
      2. reviewing significant accruals, reserves or other estimates;
      3. reviewing accounting treatment of unusual or non-recurring transactions;
      4. reviewing disclosure requirements for commitments and contingencies;
      5. reviewing financial statements and all items raised by the external auditor, whether or not included in the financial statements; and
      6. reviewing unresolved differences between the Corporation and the external auditor.

      Following such review, the Committee shall recommend to the Board for approval all Annual Financial Disclosure;

    3. Review with management all interim consolidated financial statements of the Corporation and related financial reporting including Management's Discussion and Analysis and earnings press releases (collectively "Quarterly Financial Disclosure") and approve all Quarterly Financial Disclosure;
    4. Be satisfied that adequate procedures are in place for the review of the Corporation's public disclosure of financial information extracted or derived from the Corporation's financial statements, other than Annual Financial Disclosure or Quarterly Financial Disclosure, and shall periodically assess the adequacy of those procedures;
    5. Review with management and recommend to the Board for approval, any financial statements of the Corporation which have not previously been approved by the Board and which are to be included in a prospectus or other disclosure document of the Corporation;
    6. Review with management and recommend to the Board for approval, the Corporation's Annual Information Form (if any);
    7. With respect to the external auditor:
      1. receive all reports of the external auditor directly from the external auditor;
      2. discuss with external auditor:
        1. critical accounting policies;
        2. alternative treatments of financial information within GAAP discussed with management (including the ramifications thereof and the treatment preferred by the external auditor); and
        3. other material, written communication between management and the external auditor;
      3. consider and make a recommendation to the Board as to the appointment or reappointment of the external auditor, being satisfied that such auditor is a participant in good standing pursuant to applicable securities laws;
      4. review the terms of engagement of the external auditor, including the appropriateness and reasonableness of the auditor's fees and make a recommendation to the Board as to the compensation of the external auditor;
      5. when there is to be a replacement of the external auditor, review with management the reasons for such replacement and the information to be included in any required notice to securities regulators and recommend to the Board for approval the replacement of the external auditor along with the content of any such notice;
      6. oversee the work of the external auditor in performing its audit or review services and oversee the resolution of any disagreements between management and the external auditor;
      7. review and discuss with the external auditor all significant relationships that the external auditor and its affiliates have with the Corporation and its affiliates in order to determine the external auditor's independence, including, without limitation:
        1. requesting, receiving and reviewing, on a periodic basis, written or oral information from the external auditor delineating all relationships that may reasonably be thought to bear on the independence of the external auditor with respect to the Corporation;
        2. discussing with the external auditor any disclosed relationships or services that the external auditor believes may affect the objectivity and the independence of the external auditor; and
        3. recommending that the Board take appropriate action in response to the external auditor's information to satisfy itself of the external auditor's independence;
      8. as may be required by applicable securities laws, rules and guidelines, either:
        1. pre-approve all non-audit services to be provided by the external auditor to the Corporation (and its subsidiaries, if any), or, in the case of de minimus non-audit services, approve such non-audit services prior to the completion of the audit; or
        2. adopt specific policies and procedures for the engagement of the external auditor for the purposes of the provision of non-audit services;
      9. review and approve the hiring policies of the Corporation regarding partners, employees and former partners and employees of the present and former external auditor of the Corporation;
    8.  
      1. establish procedures for:
        1. the receipt, retention and treatment of complaints received by the Corporation regarding accounting, internal accounting controls or auditing matters; and
        2. the confidential, anonymous submission by employees of the Corporation of concerns regarding questionable accounting or auditing matters; and
      2. review with external auditor its assessment of the internal controls of the Corporation, its written reports containing recommendations for improvement, and the Corporation's response and follow-up to any identified weaknesses;
    9. with respect to risk management, be satisfied that the Corporation has implemented appropriate systems of internal control over financial reporting (and review senior management's assessment thereof) to ensure compliance with any applicable legal and regulatory requirements;
    10. review annually with management and the external auditor and report to the Board on insurable risks and insurance coverage; and
    11. engage independent counsel and other advisors as it determines necessary to carry out its duties and set and pay the compensation for any such advisors.