AMF submits Brief to federal panel on securities regulation



    MONTREAL, July 15 /CNW Telbec/ - The Autorité des marchés financiers
(AMF) today released the Brief it submitted as part of the consultation
process conducted by the expert panel set up to review securities regulation
in Canada. Titled "Single regulator: A needless proposal,"
( http://www.lautorite.qc.ca/userfiles/File/Publications/secteur-financier/Mem
oire_commission-unique.pdf )the Brief sets out the AMF's position on the key
issues raised in the matter of adopting a single securities regulator.
    The creation of the expert panel, chaired by the Honourable Tom Hockin,
was announced on February 21, 2008 by the Minister of Finance, the Honourable
Jim Flaherty. The deadline for submitting briefs was set for July 15, 2008.

    CURRENT FRAMEWORK ADEQUATE

    The AMF's Brief generally concludes that current securities regulation in
Canada is adequate in light of the specific features of the Canadian market.
    On an international scale, Canada operates a small securities market made
up of firms located across a vast territory with needs that vary significantly
from region to region and which, for the most part, are financed locally.
Against this backdrop, a system of provincial and territorial regulators
serves as the most appropriate framework model, as regulators are able to
identify and respond more effectively to the specific needs of firms in their
jurisdictions, while striving to harmonize securities regulations and
processes.
    The development of the passport system, which is intended to serve as a
single window for firms and their representatives to do business on a
Canada-wide basis, is an eloquent example of this ability and willingness to
harmonize regulations and processes.
    Because of the size of the country, the presence of provincial and
territorial regulators also enhances consumer protection. Since securities
operations are often local in nature, the proximity of regulators to local
markets facilitates the detection of fraudulent practices.
    The AMF believes that the adoption of a single securities regulator must
be based on a demonstration that such a framework would be superior to the
existing system. The Brief underscores that the arguments put forth in support
of the federal proposal are unconvincing and do not justify the proposed
changes in the current regulatory structure.
    The position of the AMF reflects the findings of a number of
international bodies whereby securities regulation in Canada is among the best
in the world. The AMF therefore considers it paradoxical that the federal
government is proposing to replace a system that meets the needs of Canadian
firms and investors and has been recognized internationally for its
effectiveness. The AMF also notes that the criticism expressed by the federal
government against the country's securities industry is tarnishing the
industry's reputation abroad and is generally undermining Canada's economic
interests.

    WITHIN ITS JURISDICTION, FEDERAL GOVERNMENT SHOULD SUPPORT PROVINCIAL
    SECURITIES REGULATION

    The Brief also highlights the broad consensus in Canada that a key
challenge for securities regulation is more effective deterrence of fraud.
This responsibility is shared by a number of players: securities regulators,
self-regulatory organizations, police forces and Crown prosecutors.
    Close co-operation between the federal government and the provinces in
this regard is essential. RCMP operations and enforcement of the Criminal Code
are the responsibility of the federal government. As such, the federal
government is in a position to take concrete action in support of provincial
securities regulation within its jurisdiction, without the need to create a
single securities regulator. The AMF believes that federal, provincial and
territorial authorities should work closely together to:

    
    - raise awareness about the importance of white-collar crime;

    - enhance the effectiveness of investigation teams, in particular
      Integrated Market Enforcement Teams (IMETs);

    - improve the tools available to investigation teams.
    

    The Brief
(http://www.lautorite.qc.ca/userfiles/File/Publications/secteur-financier/Memo
ire_commission-unique.pdf) is available on the AMF website under the
Publications tab ("Guides, reports and other documents on financial sector
oversight").

    The Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) is the regulatory and oversight
body for Québec's financial sector.

    Information:
    ------------

    Media only:
    Christian Barrette: 514-940-2176

    Information Centre:
    Québec City: 418-525-0337
    Montréal: 514-395-0337
    Toll-free: 1-877-525-0337

    www.lautorite.qc.ca
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For further information:

For further information: Media only: Christian Barrette, (514) 940-2176;
Information Centre: Québec City: (418) 525-0337;  Montréal: (514) 395-0337;
Toll-free: 1-877-525-0337; www.lautorite.qc.ca


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