Alberta Provincial Court upholds investigation powers of ASC

CALGARY, May 16, 2013 /CNW/ - Provincial Court Judge Harry M. Van Harten has dismissed a challenge to Securities Act (Alberta) provisions that empower Alberta Securities Commission (ASC) investigators to compel suspects, witnesses and corporations to hand over documents and other records, including private and confidential records of all types.

Sidney John Reisner and Gregory Daniel MacPherson, who are currently facing ASC charges in Provincial Court, had challenged the provisions under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The Court held that the Securities Act (Alberta) provisions were not inconsistent with the Charter and created a constitutionally valid power to compel the delivery of records.  The Court also decided that the bank records compelled by the ASC were admissible in the trial against Reisner and MacPherson.

In relation to the compelled material (banks records of a corporate entity controlled by Reisner and MacPherson) the Court found that Reisner and MacPherson did not have privacy rights in these records. The Court applied the "totality of circumstances" test from the recent Supreme Court of Canada decision in R. v. Cole and found that, while the records contained some private information about Reisner and MacPherson and that they had a direct interest in that information, the information was placed on the corporation's account and was legally accessible by others such that their subjective expectation of privacy would be low, if it existed at all.

The trial of Reisner and MacPherson is scheduled to resume on October 3, 2013.

A copy of the decision can be found on the ASC website at

The ASC is the regulatory agency responsible for administering the province's securities laws. It is entrusted to foster a fair and efficient capital market in Alberta and to protect investors.  As a member of the Canadian Securities Administrators, the ASC works to improve, coordinate and harmonize the regulation of Canada's capital markets.

SOURCE: Alberta Securities Commission

For further information:

For Media Inquiries:
Mark Dickey
Senior Communications Advisor

For Investor Inquiries:
ASC Public Inquiries
Toll Free 1.877.355.4488


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