Flaherty announces not-national securities regulator

The federal government, Ontario, and British Columbia will set up a common securities regulator to try to replace the current patchwork of provincial regulation. However, most provinces, notably Quebec, have not signed on.

Federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty and his counterparts from Ontario, home to the country’s predominant capital market, and British Columbia unveiled details of their plan on Thursday.

Ottawa has tried for decades to persuade the country’s 10 provinces and three territories to create a national regulator similar to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Flaherty, himself, has lobbied hard for it since he became finance minister in 2006 with the election of the Conservative government.

Flaherty said the agreement “represents the best of what can be achieved when a shared responsibility becomes a mutual goal”.

He expects other provinces to come on board quickly and said he aims to make the new agency operational by July 2015.

“We expect that Canada as a result of this agreement will attract more investment, our investors will have greater protection, we’ll have more effective prosecution of white collar crime, systemic risk will be better managed,” he told a news conference.

Many provinces, particularly Quebec, have seen the federal government’s efforts to create a national regulator as an intrusion on their powers. The Supreme Court ruled in December 2011 that it was unconstitutional for Ottawa to impose a common regulator on the provinces and territories.

As a result of that ruling, Flaherty has switched from a unilateral approach to a co-operative arrangement with willing provinces, which would involve enacting legislation at both levels of government and allowing provincial experts to have a greater role.

The regulator would be based in Toronto, but with offices across the country and initially run jointly by Ontario and B.C.

Recent articles & video

Waiving visa eligibility requirements risks undermining confidence in immigration system: lawyers

Fireworks expected at debate on Alberta regulator’s mandatory Indigenous cultural competency course

Puma loses trademark battle at Federal Court of Appeal

Canada ratifies treaty to end workplace violence and harassment

Bennett Jones brings former Alberta premier Jason Kenney on board as senior policy adviser

Ninety-two percent of in-house counsel expect law firm partners to use the latest tech: survey

Most Read Articles

SCC strikes one mandatory minimum penalty, finds another constitutional

Jason Kroft and Bruno Caron on why they launched an ESG practice group at Miller Thomson LLP

Top Insurance Defence Boutiques for 2023-24 unveiled by Canadian Lawyer

Six months later: how Quebec’s new French language law is affecting labour and employment practice