Manitoba Legislative Building in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Manitoba’s government has introduced legislation that would strengthen the ability of the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) to fulfill its mandate to protect investors and ensure investment dealers follow the rules, Finance Minister Cameron Friesen announced Monday.

“We are taking further action to protect investors in Manitoba,” says Friesen, in a statement. “Strengthening IIROC’s ability to collect fines assessed for wrongdoing will enhance the confidence of investors that those who break the rules will be held accountable.”

The proposed bill would amend Manitoba’s Commodity Futures Act and Securities Act to give IIROC additional tools including:

  • the ability to file decision documents with the courts to enforce payment of fines;
  • civil immunity for IIROC staff to protect them while performing duties as part of their delegated regulatory function; and
  • the clear right to appeal a decision made by an IIROC hearing panel to the Manitoba Securities Commission.

Fines and costs currently assessed after a hearing can only be enforced as long as the dealer involved remains a member of IIROC, but if the dealer registration is cancelled or if the dealer or representative resigns, IIROC has no way of enforcing collection.

The proposed legislation would strengthen IIROC’s ability to collect fines in Manitoba, Friesen says.

Other jurisdictions in Canada including Quebec, Ontario, Alberta and Prince Edward Island have already provided authority to IIROC to enhance its ability to collect fines, the minister notes.

“By introducing these legislative changes, the Manitoba government is demonstrating it is serious about protecting investors and putting wrongdoers on notice that, if you break the rules and abuse the trust of your clients, you will pay the price and be held accountable,” says IIROC president and CEO, Andrew Kriegler, in a statement.

Manitoba’s government recently enacted legislation to allow automatic reciprocation and enforcement of orders made in other provinces, to help prevent individuals who have breached securities laws in these markets from trying to set up shop in Manitoba, Friessen notes.