By Staff | February 23, 2007 | Last updated on February 23, 2007
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(February 23, 2007) The Investment Industry Association of Canada is repeating its call for a common securities regulator. Ian Russell, IIAC’s president and CEO said, in a speech delivered to Canada’s finance minister last week, that a single regulator would “yield immediate cost savings and efficiencies.”

In his speech, Russell also said that a new regulatory framework would allow for changes of the securities rulebook and help move the industry from prescriptive rules focused on transactional processes to principle-based regulation.

He also called on the government to introduce pro-investment tax measures in the areas of capital gains tax relief, using targeted incentives to help small public companies raise capital and enhancing tax-assisted retirement vehicles.

The IIAC is asking Minister of Finance Jim Flaherty to raise the maximum RRSP contribution limit and to extend the RRSP conversion deadline from 69 to 73 in “recognition of an aging population and expectation that Canadians will work longer.”

“We believe our recommendations are . . . necessary to create the competitive environment that will allow Canada to achieve its potential in the global marketplace,” said Russell.

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Federal government announces December surplus

(February 23, 2007) The federal government announced Friday a budgetary surplus of $1.2 billion for December 2006, an increase of $900 million over the same period in 2005.

Budgetary revenues also rose to $1.4 billion — an increase of 7.6% from the year prior. One reason for the increased revenues, says the government, is that personal income tax revenues jumped $900 million because of growth in payroll deductions.

Corporate income tax revenues also increased by $800 billion, or 32.4% over December 2005, while other income tax revenues, such as withholdings from non-residents declined by $100 million.

Program expenses also grew by $800 million last December, due to an increase in transfer payments and departmental operating expenses.

While December was a good month for the budget, the first nine months in fiscal ’06–’07, didn’t deliver as much excess cash as the April to December period the year before. The government announced an estimated surplus of $7.3 billion, down from $7.5 billion in ’05–’06. However, revenues rose 4.9%, to $7.8 billion, which “reflects strong growth in income tax revenues and non-tax revenues,” said the federal government in a release.

In the end, the government was left with a net financial source of $4 billion for the first nine months of its fiscal year, which the Conservatives used, along with a reduction of its cash balances of $13.9 billion, to reduce the country’s market debt.

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(02/23/07) staff


The staff of have been covering news for financial advisors since 1998.