Promises about securities law are unlikely to incite passionate responses from most Canadians. But if they’re going to rev up one group, it’s financial advisors. Still, you’re forgiven if you haven’t kept up with the latest developments.

It’s been two years since the federal government launched its latest attempt to form a coast-to-coast regulator. Ontario, British Columbia, PEI, Saskatchewan, New Brunswick and the Yukon have signed on, but Quebec plans to challenge the fledgling regulator in court — and Alberta isn’t on board. This August, the participating provinces released draft legislation to harmonize provincial and federal securities rules. The group’s goal is to have a cooperative regulator running by fall of 2016.

This election, the parties agree broadly on the need for a national regulator, but the devil is in the details.

Read: Capital Markets Act would change B.C., Ontario rules

To learn more about the parties’ positions on securities law, we spoke to:

  • Deborah Coyne, senior policy advisor, Green Party of Canada
  • John McCallum, Liberal Party of Canada candidate in Markham-Thornhill and past National Revenue minister
  • Mélanie Richer, press secretary, New Democratic Party of Canada

The Conservative Party did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

Bookmark this page — we’ll continue to update it as the parties release more information.

National regulator

Do you support the Cooperative Capital Markets Regulatory System, or do you prefer another method?

Conservative Party
  • Supports Cooperative Capital Markets Regulatory System as a step toward a national securities regulator.
Green Party
  • Supports the creation of a national securities regulator. “We’re looking to have much more coherency. We see the [Cooperative Capital Markets Regulatory System] as a first step. We don’t disagree with any of the interim measures that bring consistency, but I think we can do better.”
Liberal Party
  • “We respect the 2011 Supreme Court decision and we expect the provinces to work collaboratively together to improve securities regulation.”
New Democratic Party
  • “In areas of shared jurisdiction, like national securities, a primary role of the federal government is to sit down and work with the provinces to find common solutions. Unfortunately, the Conservative government has not been working in collaboration with all provinces on this file.”

Other securities legislation

What securities legislation, if any, would you introduce or repeal?

Conservative Party
  • No specific announcements on new securities legislation.
Green Party
  • Would expand the powers of FCAC so it can help customers who are mistreated by financial institutions.
  • Would create a comprehensive financial consumer code under the Bank Act.
Liberal Party
  • No plans to alter securities legislation or introduce further investor protection or literacy measures.
New Democratic Party
  • Would introduce a new Consumer Protection Act to cap ATM fees as well as offer Canadians access to low-interest credit cards, according to the party’s full platform document.
  • And, going forward, “New Democrats will work with stakeholders in the sector to determine what, if any, changes [to securities legislation] are required.”

Want more? Check out Advisor’s 2015 Election Guide.

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