Saskatchewan to join Ottawa’s effort to create a single securities regulator

The federal government will announce Wednesday that Saskatchewan is prepared to join Ontario and British Columbia in their effort to create a single national securities regulator, CBC News has learned.

Finance Minister Joe Oliver, Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa and other provincial officials will make the announcement in Ottawa at 9 a.m. ET Wednesday.

The Canadian Press is reporting one Atlantic province will join Saskatchewan in signing on to the system.

Officials in P.E.I. told CBC News they are not prepared to abandon the current system.

“Prince Edward Island continues to work with the federal government to find a solution what would work best for our jurisdiction,” Guy Gallant, an official in Premier Robert Ghiz’s office, said.

Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Newfoundland and Labrador declined comment.

Opposition remains

Alberta, Quebec and Manitoba reconfirmed their opposition to the federal government’s proposal during a meeting  in P.E.I. in June.

At that meeting, provincial and territorial ministers responsible for securities regulation agreed for the need to make improvements to the national regulatory system, but some also expressed concern about “further fragmentation of the securities regulatory system” if Ottawa’s proposal was implemented.

Manitoba continues to support the current system. Sally Housser, a spokesperson for Manitoba Premier Greg Selinger, told CBC News today that the province believes “it remains one of the best in the world.”

Last September, the late federal finance minister Jim Flaherty announced a deal with British Columbia and Ontario to take part in a voluntary common system.

Quebec’s then-Parti Québécois government vowed to take Ottawa to court if it were to impose a single securities regulator on that province.

Reached by CBC News earlier Tuesday, an official for Quebec’s new Liberal finance minister, Carlos Leitao, reconfirmed opposition to a common securities regulator, pointing out that it was the Liberal government under Jean Charest who first opposed it.

The federal government had a plan to create a national regulator, called the Proposed Canadian Securities Act, but the Supreme Court ruled it unconstitutional in December 2011.

The court said the law would tread on provincial legal jurisdiction, but didn’t close the door to a future “co-operative approach” to creating a national body. 

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