Nova Scotia businessman William Black has been named the chairman of the expert board of directors for the proposed national securities regulator.

Black served as the president and CEO of Maritime Life from 1995 to 2004 and has served on a number of boards, including the Bank of Canada’s.

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He ran for the leadership of the Nova Scotia Progressive Conservatives in 2006, but lost to Rodney MacDonald, who later became premier.

Investment Industry Association of Canada (IIAC) president and CEO Ian Russell applauds the appointment. “Bill Black is an excellent choice. He […] has the requisite knowledge and experience in financial markets, has worked closely with the regulatory community and has a strong understanding of public policy.”

Canada is the only country in the G20 that does not have a national securities regulator, and Ottawa’s plans to implement one have been mired by delays.

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If it proceeds, the national regulator will be structured as a co-operative body that will be run by all of the participating provinces and territories and will oversee stock markets by policing abuses and securities fraud.

The agency would also administer a single set of regulations and would be funded through a single set of fees.

Under the current system, regulation of the capital markets falls to each individual province or territory.

Quebec has said it will go to court to challenge the constitutionality of creating a national regulator. The province has long argued that the Constitution sets out that the securities industry falls under provincial jurisdiction.

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