Plan to create a national securities regulator is constitutional: Supreme Court

The unanimous ruling could help advance plans for a national regulator of capital markets

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.

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

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.

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

The Canadian Press

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