The status quo for securities regulation in Canada is really a disaster. Globally we are a tiny market with a population of only about 35 million. In spite of this we have 13 separate securities administrators. Compare this to the US with a single national securities regulator and a population of 314 million.
On July 9 of 2014 according to Reuters, the Federal Government that Saskatchewan and New Brunswick have joined BC and Ontario in pressing for a single national securities regulator.
After decades of failed attempts to get all 10 provinces to agree to a national regulator, Ottawa and the governments of Ontario and British Columbia announced last September that they would go it alone and set up a common capital markets watchdog, similar to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
The hope was that more provinces would join over time and that the current patchwork system of regulators in each province and territory would be replaced with a national system that would be less costly for companies and governments.
Ontario is Canada’s most populous province and home to Canada’s financial services industry and largest stock market. British Columbia is home to a large number of the country’s mining companies.
The four provinces that have joined the project represent 55 percent of Canadian market capitalization. Saskatchewan and New Brunswick represent only 3 percent to 4 percent of market cap but bring important advantages:
– Saskatchewan brings representation from the Prairie provinces and has mining and oil companies, important in the Canadian economy
– New Brunswick has the largest regulator in the Maritime provinces.
Two additional deputy chief regulator positions are being created, representing Western and Eastern Canada, on top of deputy chief regulators for each of Ontario and British Columbia.