Friday, December 23, 2011

Court Declares proposed federal Securities Act Unconstitutional

December 22, 2011


Finance Minister Stan Struthers has welcomed the ruling by the Supreme Court of Canada today that the federal government’s proposed Canadian Securities Act is unconstitutional.
“The ruling confirms what we believed from the beginning; the federal government was overstepping its boundaries on this issue,” said Struthers.
The Supreme Court found the proposed federal act is unconstitutional because it would involve a wholesale takeover by Parliament of the regulation of securities trading in Canada.
“The unilateral approach by the federal government is no way to do business.  I hope they will take this ruling as a signal from the high court that we all need to put our heads together and work co-operatively to deal with issues like transfer payments for health care and other key public services,” said Struthers.  “My door is always open when it comes to discussions on how to keep our province moving forward to grow our economy.”
The minister noted the decision says, “a cooperative approach ... remains available and is supported by constitutional principles and by the practice adopted by the federal and provincial governments in other fields of activities.”
In May 2010, the federal government introduced the proposed Canadian Securities Act and sought confirmation from the Supreme Court of Canada that they had constitutional jurisdiction to move forward with it.  The Manitoba government along with other provincial and territorial governments have been working hard to ensure the case was made to highlight the negative effects this proposed legislation would have on local economies, Struthers added.  He also noted the Manitoba government appeared before the Supreme Court of Canada in April in opposition to the federal legislation.
The province will continue to work with other provinces through the Passport System in ensuring a strong method for securities regulation across Canada while ensuring it is responsive to modern challenges.
“We’ve been a leader on the Passport System and it has worked well for our country.  It is a highly harmonized system of provincial securities legislations, which enables Manitoba to remain responsive to the local financial industry and the overall needs of our business community,” said Struthers.  “The current securities regulatory system is ranked as one of the best in the world by independent international assessments.”
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