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Ottawa to announce progress on securities regulator, new converts

OTTAWA - The federal government is expected to announce on Wednesday it is has garnered sufficient provincial support to proceed with a national securities regulator.

Finance Minister Joe Oliver is scheduled to hold a news conference at 9 a.m. in Ottawa.

According to informed sources, Saskatchewan and one Atlantic province are prepared to join Ontario and British Columbia in the effort.

That still leaves six provinces outside the group, with Quebec and Alberta remaining the strongest in opposition, but the federal government believes the regional representation is sufficient to proceed.

Ian Russell of the Investment Industry Association of Canada says unanimity is not required as long as Ottawa obtains a sufficient critical mass to create momentum for the new office.

The government has long maintained that Canada's current system, with 13 separate regulators and commissions across the country, is Byzantine and inefficient — making it difficult to police abuses and securities fraud.

But the Supreme Court ruled in 2011 that the matter falls mostly under provincial jurisdiction and that Ottawa would be advised to obtain the co-operation of the provinces.

The Canadian Press


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