The Court of Appeal of Quebec published the questions on Tuesday that have been referred to the court for consideration by a government order in council as the province seeks to challenge constitutionality of the proposed new co-operative national regulator and the proposed new federal securities legislation.
Quebec’s provincial government has asked the court to rule on whether the constitution “authorizes the implementation of pan-Canadian securities regulation under the authority of a single regulator,” according to the model that the participating provinces and territories have agreed to; and whether the draft of proposed new federal legislation designed to address systemic risk exceeds the authority of Parliament under the Constitution.
Draft legislation was published last year, although the ministers from the participating provinces have promised that a revised version will be published by the end of this summer along with draft rules and revised provincial legislation. The aim is to get the new regulator up and running by the autumn of 2016.
Quebec has consistently opposed any form of federal involvement with securities regulation. Earlier this summer, the province signalled its intention to ask the court to rule on the constitutionality of the latest effort.
The order was filed with the Office of the Court of Appeal for the District of Montreal on July 15 and other attorney generals have until Sept. 30, to file a written appearance with the court. Any other organizations seeking intervener status in the case must also file by Sept. 30. The province’s chief justice, Nicole Duval Hesler, will then determine the conditions of intervention in the case and to prepare a timetable for hearing arguments.