“Is the Proposed Canadian Securities Act Within the Legislative Authority of the Parliament of Canada?”
Today’s a day that Phil Anisman must have wondered whether he would see. Back in 1979, he published Proposals for a securities market law for Canada.
A national Securities Bill unveiled, a Canadian Securities Regulatory Authority established and the scheme instantly referred to the Supreme Court of Canada.
As the preamble says:
- capital markets affect the well-being and prosperity of all Canadians;
- capital markets are increasingly national and international in scope;
- capital markets are rapidly evolving and include increasingly complex financial products and methods of distribution and trading;
- it is important for Canada to have competitive capital markets and a strengthened, comprehensive and coordinated enforcement regime for those markets;
- it is in the national interest to effectively protect and promote Canadian interests internationally, including through the development of consistent regulatory policies for capital markets;
- the integrity and stability of Canada’s financial system would be enhanced by the presence of a single Canadian securities regulator as part of the Canadian financial regulatory framework;
- Parliament intends to create a single Canadian securities regulator, supported by a comprehensive statutory and regulatory regime that applies across Canada; and
- Parliament chooses to do so through a process under which the regime will apply as willing provinces and territories opt in.
This will be a major decision on the scope of the federal trade and commerce power, and its intersection with the criminal law power, the first significant probing since City National Leasing twenty one years ago. It will require revisiting some of the themes of Global Securities Corp. v. British Columbia (Securities Commission), 2000 SCC 21,  1 S.C.R. 494
The move has been denounced in Québec City by Raymond Bachand, the Québec Finance Minister.