Securities Regulation in Canada
Provincial and Territorial Ministers responsible for securities regulation are committed to making improvements to the Canadian securities regulatory framework.
All provinces and territories, except Ontario, signed the 2004 Provincial/Territorial Memorandum of Understanding Regarding Securities Regulation (MOU). Ministers from British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Québec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador, the Northwest Territories, Yukon and Nunavut are members of the Council of Ministers of Securities Regulation (the passport jurisdictions).
The MOU recognizes that securities regulation in Canada is a matter of provincial jurisdiction, and that the securities regulatory system requires constant innovation and reform to keep pace with the evolution of capital markets. The Council of Ministers is committed to maintaining and enhancing the status of Canada’s securities regulatory system, which is already ranked by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the World Bank Group as one of the best in the world.
One of the key objectives of the 2004 MOU was to establish a passport system providing market participants with a single window of access to Canadian capital markets.
Phase one of the passport system was implemented by regulators through a rule (Multilateral Instrument 11-101 Principal Regulator System) and related rule and policy changes in September 2005, but its scope was limited by a lack of harmonized legislation. Since 2005, the passport jurisdictions have implemented large volumes of harmonized securities legislation (entirely new Securities Acts in several jurisdictions) designed to support a fully operational passport system, and to complement uniform instruments being developed by the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA).
Passport for issuers is already in effect for issuers, beginning March 17, 2008, with the implementation of Multilateral Instrument 11-102 Passport System, National Instrument 41-101 General Prospectus Requirements and Multilateral Instrument 62-104 Take-Over Bids and Issuer Bids.
The new national registration rule, National Instrument 31-103 Registration Requirements and Exemptions, will be in effect on September 28, 2009. Implementation of the new national registration rule and related rules and amendments complete the implementation of the passport system. With the cooperation of the CSA, the Council of Ministers has achieved its key commitment to establish a single window of access to Canada’s capital markets through the passport system.
The passport system provides a single window of access to Canada’s capital markets for domestic and foreign issuers. It enables participants to clear a prospectus or obtain a discretionary exemption and, now, to register as a dealer or
adviser, by obtaining a decision from the securities regulator in their home province or territory and have that decision apply in all other jurisdictions. The passport system is a “mutual recognition” system – the same type of system being suggested as the basis for free trade in securities with the U.S. and other G-7 countries.
The Council of Ministers’ is committed to maintaining an enhanced provincial/territorial framework that inspires investor confidence and supports competitiveness, innovation and growth through efficient, streamlined and cost-effective securities regulation that is highly harmonized and simple to use for investors and other market participants.
The Council of Ministers oversees implementation of the commitments in the MOU and explores options for further reform. Ministers and securities regulators are committed to working together on an ongoing basis to ensure that the highest standards of investor protection are effectively and consistently applied.
For additional information regarding recent and future securities-related reform initiatives, please refer to the Council of Ministers' 2009 Annual Progress Report.
of Quebec • Government of Nova Scotia • Government
of New Brunswick • Government of Manitoba • Government
of British Columbia • Government of Prince Edward Island
• Government of Saskatchewan • Government of Alberta
• Government of Newfoundland & Labrador •
Government of the Northwest Territories • Government
of Yukon • Government of Nunavut