Quebec and Canadian Flags`

Despite the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) judgment clearing the way for creation of the proposed co-operative Capital Markets Regulatory Authority (CMRA), Quebec insists that it won’t be joining the effort.

On Friday, Nov. 9, the SCC handed down its ruling on a reference brought by the federal and British Columbia government seeking to overturn a Quebec Court of Appeal decision, which found that the proposed model was unconstitutional.

Proponents of the CMRA have expressed the hope that if the new regulator gets off the ground, all of the provinces and territories would eventually sign on. Quebec has long opposed efforts to create a national regulator.

“We acknowledge the Supreme Court of Canada ruling, but intend to retain our autonomy and keep our expertise in Quebec. The finance sector is highly strategic and we will remain autonomous,” said Eric Girard, Quebec finance minister, in a statement.

“Quebec will continue to be responsible for regulating securities on the Quebec market. The Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) will continue to be the integrated regulator responsible for overseeing all stakeholders in the Quebec financial sector,” he added.

Added Girard: “We reaffirm our resolve with regard to defending both the interests of Quebecers and Quebec’s jurisdiction from any eventual encroachment. We will remain vigilant about meeting our responsibilities. We also call for guaranties from the federal government when the federal regulator is implemented. The court did state that the federal law creating the pan-Canadian commission must not encroach on provincial jurisdiction.”

In a statement, the AMF acknowledged the SCC decision and Girard’s comments.

Stated Louis Morisset, president and CEO of the AMF and chairman of the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) : “Although a new regulatory body may eventually be created that does not involve all the provinces and territories, the AMF stands ready to do what it is currently doing as a member of the CSA — work with its peer regulators across the country to ensure the stability and efficiency of Canada’s markets and maintain a level of co-operation critical to the development of harmonized regulation that is at least as effective as the existing structure.”