After working for five years to establish a national securities regulator, the Capital Markets Authority Implementation Organization (CMAIO) has shut down and laid off its staff. Created by the federal Liberals in 2016, the CMAIO was given the mandate to develop a pan-Canadian capital markets regulatory framework to protect investors and make it easier for companies to raise money. Currently, each province and territory regulates its own capital markets, without the benefit of a national system. A recent article in The Globe and Mail by reporters Andrew Willis and Vanmala Subramaniam cites the reluctance of some provinces – notably Ontario, British Columbia, Alberta and Québec – to embrace the concept of national regulation as the main reason for the CMAIO’s demise. The authors turned to Larry Ritchie, Osler partner and former Vice-Chair of the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC), for his reaction to the dissolution of the CMAIO. During his tenure at the OSC, Larry helped establish the Canadian Securities Transition Office, the federal statutory organization charged with leading the transition to a single national securities regulator.
“The news is no doubt disappointing to those of us who have spent time travelling down the road towards a pan-national regulator, and hoped that it would have been achieved a long while ago,” he says.
The article concludes with Larry remarking that Ontario’s new Capital Markets Act – an effort to restructure the province’s securities regulation system – was based, in part, on work done by the CMAIO.
“It’s a boost of confidence to the initiative’s output,” he states.