Joe Oliver says national securities regulator could become reality by fall 2015 – by Gordon Isfeld (National Post – June 10, 2014)

The National Post is Canada’s second largest national paper.

MONTREAL — Canada’s finance minister believes the government’s long-sought goal of a single national securities regulator could become a reality by the next federal election, scheduled for the fall of 2015.

“I think it is very positive that Canada, British Columbia and Ontario entered into this agreement in principle [on a national regulator]. We’re expecting there will be a number of other provinces coming on board soon,” Joe Oliver told the Financial Post on Monday.

“I don’t use the word ‘soon’ unless I mean ‘soon’. The Ontario election [set for Thursday] obviously delayed the matter. But it really makes sense for everyone to join in.”

Mr. Oliver, the former natural resources minister who was named finance minister in March, was speaking on the sidelines of the International Economic Forum of the Americas in Montreal.

“I think it will be well on its way” by the next federal election, he said in an interview. “It won’t be viewed as a promise as much as an accomplishment, in my opinion,” added Mr. Oliver, 73. “I believe we will have achieved a lot. I’m not saying every province will be in — although the door is always open,” he said.

“At the end of the day, capital markets are national and international. They’re not inter-provincial … and that’s why other countries have adapted the models that they have.”

There are now separate securities agencies for Canada’s 10 provinces and three territories. In September last year, then Finance Minister Jim Flaherty announced an initial stage for creating of the Cooperative Capital Markets Regulators (CCMR), coming after a Supreme Court of Canada decision in 2011 that stated a single regulator would infringe on some provincial constitutional rights.

Even so, the high court also ruled that Ottawa had a responsibility to protect all Canadians from systemic risks and cooperate with other levels of governments in doing so.

Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa and B.C. counterpart Michael de Jong have been the only provincial officials to sign on with the single regulator initiative. To be based in Toronto, the financial hub of Canada, the CCMR would be responsible for overseeing national rules and guidelines.

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