Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Editorial Exchange: Securities Regulator Gets Critical Mass

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Editorial Exchange: Securities Regulator Gets Critical Mass

Article excerpt

Editorial Exchange: Securities regulator gets critical mass


An editorial from the Winnipeg Free Press, published July 14:

Two more provinces have signed on to the federal government's initiative to create a national securities regulator. Saskatchewan and New Brunswick have joined the nascent Cooperative Capital Markets Regulatory System. Ontario and British Columbia were early signatories to an agreement-in-principle with the federal government to unify securities regulation.

Manitoba, unwisely, continues to resist joining a national securities watchdog. It should reverse course. Our participation in a national scheme to regulate securities trading is overdue.

The reform effort is close to having critical mass: The four signatory provinces represent 53 per cent of market capitalization for publicly traded companies and 75 per cent of the number of companies listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange and TSX Venture Exchange.

Of the remaining provinces and territories, only two, Alberta and Quebec, are vigorously opposed to a national regulator. The rest still voice reservations, but in varying ways and degrees.

This co-operative venture is born of the Conservative government's failed 2011 attempt to have the Supreme Court of Canada sanction a law that would have given the feds the right to regulate securities markets. The Supreme Court unanimously told the federal government it didn't have the constitutional authority to create a national securities regulator because it encroaches on provincial jurisdiction over property and civil rights.

But the court also recognized the need for a uniform approach to securities regulation. It invited the federal government to adopt an approach that accommodates provincial powers. The Cooperative Capital Markets Regulatory System is the government's measured response.

Canada has 13 separate provincial and territorial securities commissions, or equivalent agencies, to enforce laws governing the public sale of corporate shares and other investments. That's way more than any other developed nation. Each of the U.S., the U.K. and France has but one national securities regulator. …

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