No jury trials for Securities Act offences

By Staff | February 27, 2017 | Last updated on February 27, 2017
1 min read

The Supreme Court of Canada has dismissed two appeals from Alberta defendants seeking a right to trial by jury for Securities Act offences. This decision upholds the December 2015 ruling by the Alberta Court of Appeal in the same matters.

The appellants, Ronald Aitkens and Jeremy (Jay) Peers, are each facing charges under the Securities Act in two unrelated cases. They claimed that the maximum penalty under Alberta securities laws of five years less a day in prison, or a $5-million fine — or both — triggers the right to a jury trial under section 11(f) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. That section provides a right to a trial by jury for any person charged with an offence where the maximum punishment is imprisonment for five years or a more severe punishment.

The appeal was heard before all nine justices of the Supreme Court of Canada on February 14, 2017. In their unanimous ruling, the Court dismissed the appeal “substantially for reasons of the majority of the Court of Appeal, 2015 ABCA 407, 609 A.R. 352.”

“This decision reinforces that securities offences will be tried in provincial court through the summary conviction process, as they always have been,” said Stan Magidson, chair and CEO of the ASC. “The Alberta Securities Commission will continue to prosecute serious breaches of the Securities Act (Alberta) in provincial court in trials before a judge alone.”

Also read:

Repeat offender arrested after JSOT Alberta investigation

15 offenders jailed in 2016: CSA

MFDA started the most disciplinary proceedings ever in 2016 staff


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