National securities regulator urged for Canada

Thu Apr 10, 2008 3:14pm EDT
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TORONTO (Reuters) - Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty stressed again on Thursday the importance of creating a single, national securities regulator.

Flaherty has tried unsuccessfully for the past two years to convince his 13 provincial and territorial counterparts to streamline their regulators into a single nationwide body.

"One of the concerns I have, and I have consistently had for more than two years now, is our fragmented securities regulation in Canada," Flaherty told reporters after giving a speech in Toronto.

"We have 13 securities regulators in Canada which, quite frankly, makes no sense and makes for a great deal of inefficiency in terms of regulation."

Flaherty argues that Canada's patchwork system of securities regulation scares investors away because of overlapping layers of paperwork and compliance costs.

All of the provinces, except Ontario, which handles 80 percent of all securities transactions, prefer a so-called passport system whereby a company obtaining approval in one jurisdiction would be recognized in another.

(Reporting by Frank Pingue; editing by Rob Wilson)