Pan-Canadian, except for that gaping hole in the middle


Oh, that national securities regulator? Seems it depends which “nation” you’re talking about. La Presse reports (via Norm Spector):

Sources indicate that government lawyers are nervous about testing Quebec’s exclusive jurisdiction in court… The Charest government is preparing a fall-back plan that would permit its securities regulator to operate in parallel to the new pan-Canadian agency…which is the case for many programs—the Québec pension plan being one example…according to sources, this has been Ottawa’s plan all along.

So. Two “national” securities regulators, for the two “nations.” Once again there will be one law for the rest of the country, and another law for Quebec. And once again we will pretend that none of it matters, that we are still a functioning country, all appearances to the contrary.

PS What do you want to bet this eventually becomes the model for Senate reform, as well? As evidence, I offer Harper’s strenuous disavowals…


Pan-Canadian, except for that gaping hole in the middle

  1. Looking at this from outside the country, all I can say is that it’s a funny way to build confidence in Canadian financial markets.

  2. In theory, we could have in the future on securities commission run by Quebec and a Canadian one run by a future prime minister from Quebec.

  3. Instead of a reformed Senate that includes exceptions for Quebec, let’s have a Parliament of English Canada with a reformed House of Commons and Senate. We could still have a super parliament for both English Canada and Quebec that befits a fairy tale emperor and his new outfit.

  4. It’s unlikely any other province would agree to senate reform on a Quebec/Canada model, and any change that doesn’t require their consent is trivial.

  5. yes, because a uniform security regulation is a good litmus test for determining what a country is. I believe that is one of the foundational clauses in the Treaty of Westphalia.

    • On its own, no. The point is, this is the latest in a long list….

      • One, thank you for letting my snide remark making it through the censors.

        Two, I find it interesting that for a libertarian such as yourself, that you would find the cohesion of bureaucratic regulatory agencies throughout a country as a primary indicator of nationhood.

        With that, I kind of agree with your remarks, but coming from a much different view of government.

    • I think the point he’s making is that more and more Quebec has one set of rules and the REST of Canada has another. The whole point of federal regulation is to oversee ALL jurisdictions and make them play by the same standards. The fact that the federal government of Canada allows this at all really shows how gun-shy they have become when it comes to our separatist cousins in Quebec.

      I, like most of english-speaking Canada I’m sure, am growing tired of Ottawa’s weakness and lack of leadership.

  6. As L.C. would say, “awkward much?”

  7. What is it, two years since I warned you not to get your hopes up on this file? The good news is, I doubt there’ll be any “national” securities regulator at all, with Quebec or without. This is the diesel fuel-tax cut of regulatory-federalism promises.

    • And a national regulator will only be an advantage if every province voluntarily disbands its own commissions, not just now but for the entirety of the future. If a federal regulator is created and a province decides, at any time going forward, that it wants to regulate securities as well, then the national regulator immediately becomes just so much red tape, worsening the problem it was created to solve.

      • I don’t think that’s true. My understanding is that the constitution is that provincial regualtions are pretty much void when the federal government decides something is in the national interest.

        • Crown Zellerbach is, AFAIK still the leading case on the topic. It’s likely an area where concurrent jurisdiction is possible. It would be difficult to show that its an absolute requirement that securities be regulated at the federal level, when its been regulated provincially for decades.

    • Ah, yes the diesel fuel tax cut. I almost forgot about that one….

    • Sorry, but I believe you to be dead wrong on this. Diamond Jim is going ahead with a single securities regulator one way or the other. The beauty of the report by the Expert Panel is that it suggests going ahead even if only a few provinces (i.e. Ontario, which has 80% of securities business along with B.C., for example) agree at first. If the rest of them resist, the option will be there for the single federal regulator to provide individuals or companies with national regulatory cover – all the provinces could do is challenge the feds in court, which by all accounts they are bound to lose. The result will be that commercial pressure will force the rest of the provinces in.

      ‘Les Cons’ need to show their core supporters that they really are conservatives to balance the whole Keynes resurrection. What better way than to break down interprovincial trade barriers and make it easier for foreign investment ? We are the only country I am aware of with 13 separate securities regulators. Not so good if you want to sit up to the table with the adults to negotiate a new international regulatory framework for financial institutions.

      Quebec will resist as far as they can. And then fall into line. Alberta too. And if they don’t, the feds will do it the hard way, though the courts. It’s about frikkin time and all.

  8. Verum est imperium congressus

  9. This is happening, even if only Ontario and B.C. agree to it (which they already have). ‘les Cons’ need to show that they still are conservatives, and what better way than to break down interprovincial trade barriers and make Canada more foreign investor friendly ? The Expert Panel recommended just regulating individuals and enterprises dealing in securities anyway if the provinces resist – in which case, the provinces can either take the feds to court (they will lose) or suffer economic consequences as they try to regulate securities businesses twice. Quebec and Alberta will fall into line eventually. Diamond Jim is going to make this happen, guaranteed.

    • Oh, and I forgot to add, quite right too.

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