Officials at provincial public pension funds in Ontario and British Columbia praised the creation of a cooperative capital markets regulatory system announced by the finance ministers of Canada and the two provinces.
In the agreement announced Thursday by Jim Flaherty, Canada's finance minister, a single regulator would administer capital markets regulations for Ontario and British Columbia along with any other provinces that choose to join. It would operate independently of the governments and be funded through a single set of fees.
Currently there is no national capital markets regulator in Canada; each province administers its own capital markets regulations.
The regulatory system “is a significant milestone for Canadian securities regulation and for the future of the financial markets,” Doug Pearce, CEO and chief investment officer of the C$102.8 billion (US$99.9 billion) British Columbia Investment Management Corp., Victoria, said in an e-mail. “We believe a single national securities regulator will have a number of benefits, including enhancing investor protection, help managing systemic risk, and being more efficient. We are also hopeful that this will serve to improve the enforcement of securities laws.”
Mr. Pearce said he hopes “the other provinces and territories will join this initiative.”
“We applaud the efforts of Michael de Jong, B.C. minister of finance, and Charles Sousa, Ontario minister of finance, to show leadership on this initiative,” Jim Leech, president and CEO of the C$129.5 billion Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan, Toronto, said in a news release on the plan's website.
Ontario Teachers “contends that Canada needs more efficient and transparent capital markets and that the current fragmentation of the Canadian regulatory system must be addressed,” according to the OTPP release. The pension fund encouraged all Canadian provinces to join the cooperative system. Deborah Allan, OTPP spokeswoman, could not provide further comment.
Linda Sims, spokeswoman at the C$183.3 billion Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, Toronto, said board officials had no comment. Leo de Bever, CEO of the C$70 billion Alberta Investment Management Corp., Edmonton, could not be reached for comment by press time.