The Yukon and several provinces are moving toward a cooperative system for regulating capital markets, designed to help protect investors and to make Canada more competitive internationally.
A new draft of the Capital Markets Act was released for comment on Aug. 25. To date, British Columbia, Ontario, Saskatchewan, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and the Yukon have signed on to the act.
Fred Pretorius, the superintendent of securities for the Yukon, said the new regulations will ensure that securities issuers are subject to more consistent compliance requirements across all participating provinces and territories. They will also allow for more enforcement to combat fraud and misconduct, and for more coordination between the RCMP and other enforcement agencies.
“I really believe the new system will provide increased protection for investors,” he said.
Pretorius added that the new regulations will be especially beneficial for the Yukon. As a small jurisdiction, he said, the act will give the territory “access to new resources and expertise.”
Canada, unlike many industrialized nations, has no national securities regulator to oversee capital markets. That’s because the Constitution gives the provinces and territories authority over such matters, meaning capital markets are currently governed by several smaller regulators.
In 2009, the federal government tried to create a national regulator, but the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that it lacked the constitutional authority to do so. Certain provinces, including Quebec, Manitoba, and Alberta, have consistently rejected the idea of a national body.
The Cooperative Capital Markets Regulatory System is the next best thing – a uniform framework that provinces and territories can sign on to voluntarily.
Pretorius said the new system will make Canada more globally competitive, even if some of the provinces don’t participate.
“It’s clear that this new system will facilitate the raising of capital from investors not only across Canada but also internationally,” he said. “It will enable Canada… to play a more important role internationally.”
The new draft will be open for comment until Dec. 23, 2015. All materials can be accessed at http://ccmr-ocrmc.ca.