The Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) published on July 7, 2016 their priorities for the three-year period 2016 to 2019 under four categories: “Enhanced Investor Protection”, “Fair and Efficient Markets and Reduction of Risks to Market Integrity”, “Enhancement of Enforcement Effectiveness” and “Enhancement of Information Technology”.

The CSA states its strategic objectives without once mentioning the possible impact on it of the proposed national Cooperative Capital Markets Regulatory Authority (CCMRA) some of its members support. On July 22, it was announced that the CCMRA is expected to be operational in 2018.

Enhanced Investor Protection

The CSA proposes to enhance investor protection through further study of embedded compensation arrangements for investment funds, such as mutual funds, targeted regulatory reforms in the advisor-client relationship, and improving the Canadian proxy voting infrastructure through a clarification of the roles and responsibilities of key entities to support accurate, reliable and accountable meeting vote reconciliation.

Fair and Efficient Markets and Reduction of Risks to Market Integrity

Key initiatives under this heading include the close monitoring of trends and levels of compliance by issuers and registrants alike in the prospectus exempt markets, improving access, transparency and fairness in the fixed income market, finalizing and implementing an OTC Derivatives regulatory framework, improving collaboration and communication with market participants on cybersecurity issues and monitoring and assessing the implications of fintech innovations. A targeted review of some corporate governance topics such as director independence is also planned.

Enhancement of Enforcement Effectiveness

The CSA’s priorities relating to the enforcement of Canada’s securities laws include developing and implementing new marketplace surveillance and analytical systems and strengthening enforcement technology capabilities and strategies.

Enhancement of Information Technology

The final grouping of priorities focuses on a far-reaching project by CSA members to replace various service providers (including SEDAR, SEDI, National CTO Database, NRD and others) with a single, secure filing system for regulators and market participants.