BCSC’s enforcement powers are about to get beefed up

By James Langton | March 10, 2020 | Last updated on March 10, 2020
1 min read
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Starting this month, the B.C. Securities Commission (BCSC) will get new enforcement powers that aim to beef up its ability to combat white-collar crime.

Last year, the province’s legislature passed a series of proposed amendments to its securities laws, which included additional enforcement tools for the BCSC and a modernized framework for regulating derivatives markets and financial benchmarks.

The provincial government announced that many of the reforms will take effect on March 27. Certain provisions will come into force in the months ahead.

The new measures include expanding the BCSC’s investigative powers and strengthening its authority to freeze assets and seize property, including RRSPs.

“These new powers will allow us to pursue more wrongdoers and provide greater opportunities to return money to victims of fraud,” said Brenda Leong, chair and CEO of the BCSC, in a statement.

“It will help us to make B.C. a place where people can invest with confidence and companies can flourish,” she added.

“With the new powers for the B.C. Securities Commission coming into effect, people can feel confident knowing that B.C.’s investment markets are protected by the strongest enforcement powers in Canada,” said Carole James, B.C.’s minister of finance.

Finance noted that public consultations are also underway to consider creating a registry of beneficial ownership information, modernizing mortgage-broker legislation and regulating money services businesses.

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James Langton

James is a senior reporter for Advisor.ca and its sister publication, Investment Executive. He has been reporting on regulation, securities law, industry news and more since 1994.