The Manitoba government will defend its position that securities regulation is a matter of provincial jurisdiction when it appears before the Supreme Court of Canada on April 13 and 14, Finance Minister Rosann Wowchuk announced today.
The province will file a written legal brief and will appear before the Supreme Court as an intervener opposing the Government of Canada’s move to establish a national securities regulator.
“I believe the Government of Canada should not legislate the field of securities regulation. The proposal to establish a national regulator is unnecessary as the provinces have done this job, successfully since Confederation,” said Wowchuk. “Keeping securities at a local level is about being responsible to the people and businesses in your province. In Manitoba, we are locally sensitive to the regulatory process and can address the needs of organizations in our economy.
“Members of Manitoba’s business and investment community have told us that it is important for us to retain our authority to take measures specific to the needs of Manitobans to protect our investors and enhance capital formation by our small and medium-sized issuers.”
Securities regulation has traditionally been a matter of provincial jurisdiction. In May 2010, the federal government released the proposed Canadian Securities Act and has sought confirmation from the Supreme Court of Canada that is has the constitutional jurisdiction to do so.
“The current securities regulation system works well and is highly regarded internationally. We know that all provinces have ensured their securities regulators continue ongoing reform of the current regulatory system to meet international commitments, to keep up with changing market conditions and to make sure investors are appropriately protected,” said Wowchuk.
Currently, streamlined access for Canadian market participants has been established through what is called the Passport System and the passage of highly harmonized legislation.
It is estimated the Supreme Court will not rule on the matter for at least six months.