Alberta Finance Minister Doug Horner isn’t pleased that more provinces are joining the federal government’s push for a national securities regulator.
Saskatchewan and New Brunswick are teaming up with Ontario and British Columbia to work on the plan for a national regulator, says federal Minister of Finance Joe Oliver.
That still leaves key provinces Quebec and Alberta outside the group. Alberta’s Horner says he will continue to improve the current system of provincial control, adding that the World Bank ranks Canada ahead of the United States and the United Kingdom when it comes to protecting investors.
The national proposal has the support of international bodies such as the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, as well as Canada’s business and financial community.
“Ottawa now has the critical mass – approximately half of domestic capital market activity – needed to begin operations as a cooperative capital markets system,” Ian Russell, President and CEO, the Investment Industry Association of Canada says.
The Portfolio Management Association of Canada is calling on Alberta and other dissenting provinces to join the national plan.
“The existing fragmented system is out of step with global standards and does not serve Canadian investors well,” says PMAC president Katie Walmsley.
A common regulator would administer a single set of regulations, and would be self-funded through a single set of fees, says the federal Finance Department. An independent board of directors with capital markets-related expertise is slated to direct its work, while a Council of Ministers of all participating jurisdictions would oversee the system. There would also be a branch of the regulator in every participating province.
The participating provinces have agreed there would be two additional deputy chief regulators to represent smaller jurisdictions. These would be in addition to the deputy chief regulator based in each of British Columbia and Ontario, as well as Alberta and Quebec should they choose to participate.
Feedback from provinces and territories has resulted in other amendments to the plan. The provinces want each regulatory office to be led by an empowered director with the responsibility to carry out the office’s regulatory functions and contribute to the development of national policies. As well, the amended agreement in principle outlines a mechanism for the regulator to accommodate provincial economic development initiatives.
The plan is to have legislation enacted a year from now and a capital markets regulator in place by the fall of 2015.