A National Securities Regulator for Canada

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Off-topic:We just had a budget here in Canada. There is a lot of good/bad in it but one thing caught my eye: Finance Minister Jim Flaherty sees a national securities regulator as a ‘priority’ for his government.Regardless of the conservative, liberal, NDP views on the Budget this is one thing I hope all Members of Parliament will get behind. Canada’s current system of each province having their own securities regulator works against the public markets. Back in 2000 with the newly amalgamated CDNX (from the Canadian Dealers Networks (OTC), the Alberta and Vancouver Exchanges — all now referred to as the TSX Venture) I was involved in creating a CPC – a blind pool of capital looking for a qualifying transaction to go public.These were updated versions of the old mining blind pools (JCP’s & VCP’s) and were a transaction that had never been done in Ontario (most mining/prospecting companies were western-Canadian inventions.)Well it was huge hoops to get the OSC (Ontario Securities Commission) to approve or move forward on this – in the end we did the deal in Calgary and ignored Ontario. This was not the fault of the OSC – they’d just never seen a deal like this and the laws in Ontario, Alberta, BC were all different – they had to investigate the legality of the CPC against Ontario Law – it was a bit crazy. New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Quebec, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Newfoundland all additionally have their own regulators and rules. There is a broad attempt to ‘harmonize’ them but there’s no garuntees. This means that a prospectus approved in Ontario may not be acceptable in Saskatchewan or Alberta, etc.Now Quebec being the special case – will probably not opt into any federal arrangement. In my opinion an amalgamation with or without Quebec is a win for Canadian Public Finance. Two regulators is better than the number we have today, it would make the cost of going public cheaper in a world where its only gotten more expensive.The system has to change, the hows and why I’ll lead to better minds than my own but it’s good to see that it’s on the governments agenda.

The Author

Hi. My name is Matt Roberts, you can find me at www.mattroberts.com.

1 Comment

  1. A National Security Regulator « mattroberts.com says

    […] June 20th, 2007 · No Comments I’ve harped on this subject before. […]

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