July 7, 2015 / 9:45 PM / in 5 years

Quebec challenges national Canadian securities regulator

OTTAWA (Reuters) - The Quebec provincial government will challenge in court the constitutionality of a federal plan to establish a national securities regulator in Canada in conjunction with those provinces willing to participate in the plan.

Quebec said on Tuesday it would ask the Court of Appeal of Quebec, in a reference, for a ruling on whether the plan is constitutional.

In a statement, Quebec referred to a 2011 Supreme Court of Canada ruling that found it was unconstitutional for the federal government to impose a national regulator. In its ruling, the Supreme Court said each province was responsible for day-to-day regulation, while the federal government had powers over national concerns only, such as responding to systemic risk.

In an effort to conform with that ruling, Ottawa and five provinces are now pursuing a more cooperative approach that does not impose a national regulator. Quebec still objects, however.

“Any reform scenario aimed at compromising Quebec’s ability to regulate this important sector of economic activity will always be unacceptable,” said Jean-Marc Fournier, Quebec’s minister for Canadian intergovernmental affairs.

Five of Canada’s 10 provinces, including economically powerful Ontario and British Columbia, plus the territory of Yukon have signed on to the new Cooperative Capital Markets Regulatory System.

Reporting by Randall Palmer; Editing by Peter Galloway

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