Newfoundland and Labrador amends securities law to strengthen investor protection

Amendments to grant Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada enforcement powers

Newfoundland and Labrador amends securities law to strengthen investor protection
Confederation Building in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador

To strengthen investor protection and safeguard vulnerable retail investors, the Newfoundland and Labrador House of Assembly has passed a bill amending the Securities Act.

Bill 16, or An Act to Amend the Securities Act, will confer enforcement powers on the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC). IIROC is the pan-Canadian self-regulatory organization that oversees all investment dealers and their trading activity in Canada's debt and equity markets.

With the passage of the legislative amendments, the government has ensured that every province and territory in the country has taken substantial steps to protect Canadian investors and foster healthy Canadian capital markets, IIROC said in the announcement.

Under its granted powers, IIROC will have the authority to enforce fine collection through Newfoundland and Labrador courts against individuals fined by IIROC disciplinary panels. It will also be authorized to collect and present evidence during investigations and disciplinary hearings.

The legislative amendments will also protect IIROC from malicious lawsuits while acting in good faith to carry out its public interest mandate to protect investors.

According to IIROC, Newfoundland and Labrador is the sixth province to confer full enforcement powers on the organization, joining New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, Quebec and Alberta.

"These amendments give investors in Newfoundland and Labrador among the strongest protections from coast-to-coast," IIROC President and CEO Andrew Kriegler said. "It is clear to potential wrongdoers in Newfoundland and Labrador that if you break our rules and harm investors, there will be meaningful and serious consequences."

"We are grateful to Minister Sarah Stoodley and the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador for taking this significant step to protect the province's investors," Kriegler added.

Currently, the IIROC oversees more than 100 investment advisors working at 39 offices across the province. It carries out its regulatory duties pursuant to the recognition orders issued by the Newfoundland and Labrador securities superintendent.

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