November 9, 2018 12:33 pm

Supreme Court says plan for national securities regulator is constitutional

The Supreme Court of Canada is seen in Ottawa on October 11, 2018.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
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OTTAWA – The Supreme Court of Canada says the Constitution allows Ottawa and the provinces to set up a national securities regulator.

In addition, the high court finds federal draft legislation for countrywide oversight of stocks, bonds and other investments falls within Parliament’s powers over trade and commerce.

The unanimous ruling could help advance plans for a national regulator of capital markets, an idea under discussion since at least the 1930s.

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READ MORE: Alberta rejects national securities regulator due to ‘unique’ economy (2016)

British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Ontario, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Yukon and the federal government have signed a memorandum of agreement to create a new model.

The plan includes a common regulator, a council of ministers to play a supervisory role, a model law that provinces and territories could pass, and federal legislation to manage systemic risk, allow for data collection and address criminal matters.

The Quebec Court of Appeal said last year that the overall plan was unconstitutional, prompting Ottawa to head to the Supreme Court.

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