OTTAWA (Reuters) - Finance Minister Bill Morneau signaled on Monday that Canada's new Liberal government would follow through on efforts of the previous Conservative government to set up a national securities regulator to replace a patchwork of provincial bodies.
"We do favor (a) collaborative national securities regulator. We respect the decision of the Supreme Court and recognize that we will do this together in collaboration with those provinces that are willing to be part of this initiative," Morneau told a news conference in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Morneau referred to a 2011 decision by the Supreme Court of Canada that blocked attempts to set up a federal regulator but allowed for the possibility of a national or common regulator that included not just the federal government but also provincial governments that wanted to join.
"We think it's important for Canada to find a way to be efficient in all things we do," he said, adding that he respected the right of provinces not to join.
So far Ontario, British Columbia, three smaller provinces and the territory of Yukon have agreed to link up with the federal government to set up a common regulator.
British Columbia's finance minister said last July that the goal was for the regulator to start up in the fall of 2016. On Jan. 8, 2016, comment letters were published on necessary draft initial regulations and legislation. (bit.ly/1mRhlvg )
Reporting by Randall Palmer; Editing by James Dalgleish and Steve Orlofsky