Friday, October 3, 2008
By Clare O'Hara
NATIONAL SECURITIES INDUSTRY REGULATION
The Conservatives continue to support common
securities regulation and will continue discussions with the provinces
toward this objective. A common securities regulator need not be a
federal regulator, but a truly national regulator through which federal
and provincial governments work co-operatively, the party says.
The Conservatives are concerned that Canada is the only G-7 country
without a national security test in its foreign investment reviews. They
would like to establish a new national security mechanism in the
Investment Canada Act to ensure that foreign investments cannot
jeopardize Canada’s national security.
The Green Party has called for both a
national securities regulator and tougher whistle-blower protection.
There are currently 17 securities regulators across the country — one
for each province and territory, plus four more specialized bodies. Each
has differing rules and varying degrees of co-operation with each other.
Green Party MPs would push the federal government to work with the
provinces to take steps that would make it easier for shareholders to
hold firms accountable in the event of misrepresentation. Such a law was
recently introduced in Ontario, and the Green Party feels that
comparable laws in all provinces would promote a fair and stable
investment culture in the country. The Ontario law ensures that
investors will have the right to recoup losses when firms make
misrepresentations in any documents and public comments, not just in
The Greens say that a uniform set of regulations and enforcement will be
good for Canadians, no matter where they live.
The Liberals would like to establish a
national regulatory authority that is established in partnership with
all provincial and territorial regulatory bodies. The provincial
regulators have already come together to create a “passport” system that
allows a company that registers with one authority to be traded in the
others, and the Liberals would like to build further on this.
The NDP does not support a national
securities regulator and had voted against a national security regulator
earlier this year. The party feels that the idea of centralizing a
system in Ottawa would be an inefficient system and the NDP will
continue to support the provinces in regulating securities.
The NDP would undertake an immediate top-to-bottom review of how banks,
insurance companies and other financial services providers are regulated
in Canada. The review would look at a number of things, including that
financial institutions are properly capitalized and fully disclose
With files from Olivia Glauberzon.