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Top Court to rule on national securities regulator

Federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty speaks to media prior to a provincial, territorial and federal finance ministers meeting in Victoria, B.C., Dec. 19, 2011.

GEOFF HOWE/Geoff Howe/The Canadian Press

Finance Minister Jim Flaherty will find out Thursday whether his government has the Supreme Court of Canada's blessing to move ahead with a national securities regulator.

The Supreme Court issued a notice Monday confirming that the much-anticipated decision will be released Thursday morning.

The Conservative government has asked the court to answer a single question: Is the proposed Canadian Securities Act within the legislative authority of the Parliament of Canada?

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The draft legislation was made public by the federal government in 2010 in an effort to replace a patchwork of provincial and territorial securities commissions with a single, national regulator. While Ontario supported Ottawa's plan, six other provinces argued against the initiative, insisting the current system of co-operation between provinces and territories is working well.

Mr. Flaherty has repeatedly said that the lack of a national securities regulator hurts Canada's reputation internationally.

Under the new leadership of Premier Allison Redford, the Progressive Conservative government of Alberta said this month that it would "live with" a national securities regulator if the court rules in Ottawa's favour.

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