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(FRANK GUNN/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

The case for a unified securities regulator

At first glance, it would be easy to be cynical about Ottawa’s proposed new securities regulator and its potential to streamline and improve the molasses-like pace of regulatory reform in Canada.

A single federal regulator operating under one national securities act would clearly have the potential to act more efficiently when new rules or regulations are needed to address concerns about evolving practices in the market. But Ottawa’s new model doesn’t envision a single national securities act. To address constitutional concerns about provincial rights to regulate securities, the new model unveiled Thursday would require each province that joins to pass its own matching securities regulation, allowing provinces to retain individual control in a co-operative system.