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Vers une seule commission canadienne...

Mise à jour le lundi 12 janvier 2009 à 8 h 19

 

Les marchés financiers canadiens sont régis par 13 agences provinciales et territoriales, mais un seul organisme national pourrait bientôt prendre le relais.

 

Selon le quotidien The Globe and Mail, des experts recommandent au ministre des Finances Jim Flaherty de créer une seule commission des valeurs mobilières au Canada.

 

Tom Hockin, le président du Groupe d'experts sur la réglementation des valeurs mobilières, publiera et expliquera ses conclusions lundi après-midi, à Vancouver.

 

Le Groupe d'experts a été mis sur pied par le ministre Flaherty il y a près d'un an. Le mandat des experts est de proposer des mesures pour améliorer la réglementation des valeurs mobilières au Canada.

 

Au mois de novembre, le gouvernement minoritaire du conservateur Stephen Harper réaffirmait son intention de s'engager dans la voie d'une seule commission, tout en laissant aux provinces opposées au projet la possibilité de s'y soustraire. Le Québec et l'Alberta font partie des opposants tandis que l'Ontario défend depuis longtemps l'idée d'un organisme unique.

 

Le Globe and Mail rapporte que les experts proposeront au ministre Flaherty de suggérer aux provinces d'adhérer volontairement à la nouvelle instance nationale. Si elles refusent, le ministre aura la possibilité d'offrir aux entreprises d'adhérer à la réglementation nationale.

 

Le fédéral pourrait aussi contester devant les tribunaux l'entêtement des provinces à maintenir en force leur réglementation sur les valeurs mobilières.

 

Les conclusions du Groupe risquent fort d'irriter certaines provinces qui tiennent à leurs pouvoirs en matière réglementaire.

 

La ministre des Finances du Québec Monique Jérôme-Forget croit qu'en tentant d'enlever ce pouvoir aux provinces à la faveur d'une seule commission des valeurs mobilières au Canada, le gouvernement Harper remettrait en question le fédéralisme d'ouverture qu'il prône depuis son arrivée au pouvoir.

 

Le premier ministre Stephen Harper a convoqué ses homologues des provinces et territoires à une rencontre le 16 janvier, à Ottawa. La réglementation des marchés financiers fait partie de l'ordre du jour des discussions, tout comme l'accélération des investissements en infrastructure, l'élimination des barrières au commerce interprovincial et le développement des communautés autochtones.

 

Tom Hockin est un ancien ministre d'État aux Finances et ex-président de l'Institut des fonds d'investissement du Canada. Parmi les six autres membres du Groupe figure Denis Desautels, ancien vérificateur général du Canada.

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Valeurs mobilières: Québec et l`Alberta pourraient aller devant les tribunaux

 

13 janvier 2009 - 17h52

La Presse Canadienne

 

La ministre québécoise des Finances, Monique Jérôme-Forget, a réitéré mardi son opposition à l'établissement d'une commission pancanadienne des valeurs mobilières proposé la veille par un groupe de travail mis sur pied par le ministre des Finances Jim Flaherty et a affirmé que le Québec pourrait aller devant les tribunaux pour défendre ses intérêts à ce sujet.

 

«La réglementation des valeurs mobilières est une compétence constitutionnelle provinciale», a fait valoir la ministre par voie de communiqué, avant de menacer de contester devant les tribunaux «tout projet de loi fédéral qui aurait pour but de régir les valeurs mobilières».

 

Selon elle, «une période de crise économique ne constitue pas un moment approprié pour entreprendre des réformes structurelles majeures, et encore moins des réformes qui ne font pas l'unanimité et dont les assises juridiques sont pour le moins douteuses».

 

Le régime d'encadrement actuel, a-t-elle ajouté, fonctionne bien et répond à la fois aux besoins des participants pancanadiens et aux intérêts des diverses régions.

 

Avec le Québec, l'Alberta compte parmi les provinces les plus fortement opposées à l'instauration d'une commission unique des valeurs mobilières. Le ministre des Finances de l'Alberta, Iris Evans, a fait échos aux propos de Mme Forget, affirmant mardi qu'il envisageait également une action légale si cela s'avérait nécessaire.

 

De passage à Calgary mardi, Tom Hockin, qui a dirigé le groupe de travail composé de sept panélistes, s'est voulu rassurant devant la communauté d'affaires de la ville.

 

Il a affirmé que le système décentralisé imaginé par son groupe de travail répondrait aux besoins des entreprises de la province, qui veulent être en mesure d'accumuler des capitaux pour l'exploration du gaz et du pétrole.

 

Le groupe de travail s'est basé sur la loi des valeurs mobilières de la province pour rédiger son avant-projet de loi, a-t-il ajouté.

 

«Le système actuel limite la capacité du Canada à «parler d'une seule voix» à l'international et «ne fournit aucune opportunité à l'Alberta de s'exprimer», a estimé M. Hockin.

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Alberta pushes economic case against regulator

'Our system works for us,' province says

 

By Theresa Tedesco, Chief Business Correspondent

January 17, 2009 12:00 PM

Amid the threats of Supreme Court challenges and the usual political posturing, Alberta's opposition to the federal government's push for the creation of a national securities regulator is an intriguing one.

 

Alberta stands alone among Western provinces -- at least for now -- in its vehement opposition to unifying Canada's patchwork system of securities regulators by eliminating the existing 13 provincial and territorial commissions.

 

Unlike Quebec, which has already declared it will drag Ottawa to the highest court in the land if the government forges ahead with a proposal by former Conservative Cabinet minister Tom Hockin, Alberta is attempting to carve out an economic argument.

 

It's an argument that has some of the province's economists puzzled.

 

"The West has an economic argument to make and we're arguing over an economic institution," explains Adam Waterous, global head of investment banking at Scotia Capital, who is based in Calgary.

 

To wit: Alberta-based companies listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange and TSX Venture Exchange were valued at $785-billion last fall -- the highest market capital among the country's four largest provincial markets. That's compared with $700-billion for Ontario, $653-billion for Quebec and $133-billion for British Columbia.

 

Directionally, the most valuable Canadian companies are increasingly based west of the Ontario-Manitoba border, and yet financial clout in this country is still predominantly centralized in Toronto. Alberta may have growing economic strength, but it doesn't have the population of Ontario.

 

"Our system works for us and it's taken a long time to get there. We finally got it to the point that you don't have to deal with 13 different jurisdictions.

 

"We have totally harmonized legislation, no duplication, and now everybody wants to throw that work out," says a frustrated William Rice, chairman and chief executive of the Alberta Securities Commission.

© Copyright © National Post

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  • 1 year later...

Article très intéressant!

 

Lawrence (Lorie) Haber is a corporate director, private investor and a former financial industry executive and a corporate and securities lawyer.

 

***

 

The issue of a national securities regulator for Canada is again in the news, and this time the debate is about where to locate this proposed government agency - or whether it should even have a head office.

 

I would like to suggest a Made in Canada solution: Let's house this new overseer body in Montreal.

 

The federal government's latest initiative on the creation of a national securities regulator follows a report of the Expert Panel on Securities Regulation in Canada, delivered to the Finance Minister in January, 2009. The report specifically addressed the issue of where to locate the new body, saying: "We believe that the commission's head office should be located in one of the four largest provinces: British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario or Quebec (assuming these provinces participate). The final decision will likely reflect negotiations with the participating jurisdictions. We strongly encourage the commission to establish regional offices in major financial centres, each headed by a vice-chair in the largest provinces, to be responsive to the distinct needs of regionally-based sectors and local market participants ..." (emphasis added).

 

In the context of these negotiations, which undoubtedly have already started, here's why I suggest the regulator should be headquartered in Montreal:

 

First, Montreal has the talent, expertise and infrastructure to staff and house this agency, including expertise in securities regulation. Having spent a portion of my 25-year Bay Street career as a senior executive of a Montreal-headquartered financial institution, I had the opportunity for several years to spend a significant amount of my working time in Montreal. I dealt with many market participants, professionals and regulators there, and I can attest to the fact that the city has an abundance of capable, knowledgeable and experienced individuals who can well staff this agency. Whatever regional or sector specific expertise might be lacking in Montreal could easily be supported by regional offices (as the report notes, B.C. could specialize in the mining sector, Alberta in oil and gas, Ontario in financial services).

 

Secondly, any national agency in Canada requires professional and administrative staff who can function in both of our official languages; apart from Ottawa, surely, Montreal is the place that has the largest pool of functionally bilingual people in Canada.

 

Next, Montreal is not Ottawa. In other words, Montreal is not the home of the federal government. Locating this agency in Montreal should alleviate the legitimate concerns of Quebec and some of the other provinces about federal/provincial tensions, balance of power issues, and other related concerns that might manifest if this agency were to be housed in Ottawa. It might even persuade Quebec to rethink its constitutional/jurisdictional objection to the proposed federal agency.

 

Finally, Montreal is not Toronto. In other words, Montreal is not the home of Bay Street. So locating the new agency's head office in Montreal should alleviate the legitimate concerns of some provinces about the concentration of financial and capital markets power and regulation in Ontario.

 

For those in Ontario and elsewhere who might have concerns about not housing this agency in the city that is the centre of our Canadian capital markets, two relevant examples validate this model. New York's Wall Street is the centre of U.S. and, indeed, world capital markets, yet the Securities and Exchange Commission, the national regulator, is in Washington. Most of Canada's chartered banks are headquartered in Toronto, yet our banking regulator, OSFI, is in Ottawa. In both cases, the risk of having the regulatory head office at a distance from the key marketplace is effectively mitigated by a regional office with experienced staff located in that key marketplace to ensure effective and proximate supervision.

 

If Canada's new securities regulator is located in Montreal, the concerns of provinces troubled by the idea of a national securities regulator should be satisfied. And Canadians will be provided with an agency that can fulfill its mandate to provide investor protection and to foster fair, effective and efficient regulation of our capital markets. A little give, a little take, a little compromise - it's the Canadian way.

 

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/logic-and-compromise-point-to-montreal/article1505389/

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