Following the announcement of its first chair of the board of directors for the participating jurisdictions, there continues to be momentum toward the establishment the proposed Cooperative Capital Markets Regulator.
On August 25, 2015, the Ministers responsible for capital markets regulation in British Columbia, Ontario, Saskatchewan, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Yukon announced the publication for comment of a revised draft of the uniform provincial/territorial legislation, the Capital Markets Act, and detailed draft initial regulations. This publication marks a major step forward in achieving a Canadian cooperative securities regime. Indeed, notwithstanding the federal election and the absence of draft legislation to establish the entity itself and its governance regime, the participating provincial jurisdictions are maintaining the most recently announced schedule.
The Capital Markets Act and Regulations would together constitute the single set of provincial/territorial laws under the Cooperative Capital Markets Regulatory System (Cooperative System). As we have previously posted, the goal of the CCMR system is to eliminate the inefficiencies that are endemic to Canada’s current system of 13 separate securities agencies.
As set out in the backgrounder to the revised Act and draft Regulations, key features of the CCMR System include:
- A single regulator which will administer a single set of rules designed to protect investors and support efficient capital markets.
- Accountability to the legislative bodies of participating jurisdictions and oversight of the Cooperative System via a Council of Ministers comprising Ministers responsible for securities regulation in each provincial and territorial participating jurisdiction and the federal Minister of Finance.
- A single regulator which will maintain staff and resources that are commensurate with the capital market activity in all participating provinces and territories.
- A single regulator which will deliver common standards and service across participating provinces and territories through local offices.
What is noticeably absent from the announcement, however, is the long awaited proposal for the legal establishment and governance of the entity that will become the regulator. Additionally, the federal legislative portion of the proposed regulatory regime has been delayed (not surprisingly given the recent call of a federal election, suggesting the release of the next federal draft will have to await the outcome of the election). Also delayed as of the date of this posting is the announcement of the remainder of the first board of directors, which observers had hoped would be announced and established this summer.
Comments on the recently released draft regulations have been requested by December 23 2015. Notwithstanding some bumps-in-the-road which will likely have an impact on the overall schedule, the participating jurisdictions are maintaining the most recently announced timetable. We will continue to watch and write on developments on this initiative.