So much for mobile, accessible capital for growing Canadian businesses…
Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach poured cold water yesterday on federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty’s push for a nationwide securities regulator, saying he has no interest in moving beyond an alternative system provinces have set up.
He said he’s content to stick with the “passport system” – arranged by all provinces except Ontario – that synchronizes securities approvals but allows 13 separate securities commissions to remain.
That’s right – thirteen separate securities commissions for Canada, each one a fiefdom unto itself in terms of enforcing securities legislation. Restricting the flow of capital through a country quickly falling behind its core G8 competitors.
Alberta’s support is considered crucial to forming a single securities regulator because companies headquartered in the province have the second-biggest market capitalization of any jurisdiction in Canada.
According to Canada’s Department of Finance:
In December 2003 the Wise Persons’ Committee presented its report recommending that the federal and provincial governments collaborate to establish a single securities regulator in Canada. The federal government continues to work with the provinces towards the development of a single securities regulator to promote greater efficiency in Canada’s capital markets.
C’mon guys, they don’t call them wise persons for nothing!
What do you think? Is there any hope for a single regulator in Canada to rival the SEC in the US and the FSA in the UK?