Can Ottawa push ahead with a national securities regulator even if Quebec and Alberta don’t like the idea? According to an expert panel tasked with studying the question, the short answer is ‘Yes.’ In a speech presenting his panel’s recommendation that Canada scrap its provincial and territorial regulators in favour of a single, national securities watchdog, panel leader Thomas Hockin said individual “market participants” should be welcome to join the national regulator even if their provinces don’t endorse the idea. Federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty has described the national regulator project as a “necessary but voluntary exercise.” But the right to opt-out hasn’t satisfied either Quebec or Alberta, who have threatened legal action to stop what they deem to be an intrusion by the Ottawa into matters of provincial jurisdiction.
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