The Alberta government has introduced legislation to beef up IIROC and MFDA enforcement, putting the self-regulatory groups on the same footing as the Alberta Securities Commission.

Bill 13, introduced on Monday, would amend the provincial Securities Act so that IIROC and the MFDA would have the power to compel evidence during investigations and attendance at hearings. It would also give the self-regulatory organizations (SROs) immunity from civil lawsuits.

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If passed, Alberta would be the first province to provide the two groups regulating investment and mutual fund dealers (IIROC and MFDA, respectively) with legal immunity for investigations, the power to compel evidence, and fine enforcement through the courts. Alberta already provides the latter to the two SROs.

Joe Ceci, Alberta minister of Finance, said in a release it was “vitally important” that laws are in place to ensure Albertan investors “can be confident when they entrust their money with investment dealers, advisors and their representatives.”

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Andrew Kriegler, president and CEO of IIROC, said Alberta was the first province in Canada to provide the body with the investigative powers and legal immunity.

“Albertans should be confident that firms and individuals will comply with IIROC’s regulatory rules and that any breach of those rules will result in serious consequences,” he said.

Read the bill here.

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