Canadian Regulators Propose Enhancements to Registration Regime

    TORONTO, Feb. 29 /CNW/ - The Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA)
announced today they are seeking comments on a revised draft of proposed
National Instrument 31-103 Registration Requirements and related documents.
    When the Rule was first published in February 2007, the CSA actively
sought input from stakeholders by way of extensive consultations across
Canada, as well as in New York. As a result, the CSA received more than
260 comment letters. The amendments to the proposed Rule address many of the
issues raised by stakeholders, and reflect responses to specific questions
posed by the CSA in the 2007 proposal.
    "We received a tremendous amount of detailed and thoughtful input from
stakeholders following the initial publication of the proposed Rule in
February 2007," said Jean St-Gelais, Chair of the CSA and President & Chief
Executive Officer of the Autorité des marchés financiers (Québec). "As a
result, we are proposing revisions that will further strengthen the proposed
Rule and result in regulatory efficiencies for many market participants."
    The proposed Rule benefits investors by requiring registration of
investment fund managers, setting out higher proficiency requirements for
representatives and introducing requirements for complaint handling and
dispute resolution. Additionally, it includes revisions to the proposed
regulatory framework governing exempt market dealers.
    "We are committed to getting this rule right, not only for market
participants, but, most importantly, for the benefit of investors across the
country," said Mr. St-Gelais. The proposed Rule harmonizes registration
requirements that currently exist in various acts, rules, regulations, notices
and practices across the CSA into a single national instrument. Benefits of
the proposed registration regime include the:

    -   harmonization of individual and firm registration categories, fit and
        proper requirements, conduct requirements and exemptions, creating
        efficiencies for regulators, the National Registration Database and

    -   reduction in regulatory burden through adoption of a permanent
        registration regime and streamlined transfer procedures; and

    -   introduction of a business trigger for dealing activity which focuses
        registration on those who are more likely to present regulatory risk,
        and eliminating the need for certain complex exemptions.

    Proposed National Instrument 31-103 Registration Requirements, the
proposed Consequential Amendments and Companion Policy, the CSA Notice and
Request for Comments, and a summary of comments received on the 2007 proposal
are available on various CSA members' websites. The comment period is open
until May 29, 2008.

    The CSA, the council of the securities regulators of Canada's provinces
and territories, co-ordinates and harmonizes regulation for the Canadian
capital markets.

For further information:

For further information: Laurie Gillett, Ontario Securities Commission,
(416) 595-8913; Barbara Shourounis, Saskatchewan Financial Services
Commission, (306) 787-5842; Frédéric Alberro, Autorité des marchés financiers,
(514) 940-2176; Andrew Poon, British Columbia Securities Commission, (604)
899-6880; Nicholas A. Pittas, Nova Scotia Securities Commission, (902)
424-6859; Mark Dickey, Alberta Securities Commission, (403) 297-4481; Ainsley
Cunningham, Manitoba Securities Commission, (204) 945-4733; Jane Gillies, New
Brunswick Securities Commission, (506) 643-7745; Marc Gallant, Prince Edward
Island Office of the Attorney General, (902) 368-4552; Doug Connolly,
Financial Services Regulation Division, Newfoundland and Labrador, (709)
729-2594; Louis Arki, Nunavut Securities Registry, (867) 975-6587; Donald
MacDougall, Securities Registry, Northwest Territories, (867) 920-8984; Fred
Pretorius, Yukon Securities Registry, (867) 667-5225

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