As an Albertan, I am naturally skeptical of any Federal program that has the potential to become too Toronto-centric, but I can’t imagine that having 13 separate securities regulators across Canada is very efficient. Yesterday, Tom Hockin‘s Expert Panel on Securities Regulation recommended the creation of a single Securities Regulator for all of Canada.
My amateur knowledge of our Constitution leads me to understand that investment regulations fall under Section 92(13) of the Constitution Act, which acts as balance to the Provinces, while the Federal Government holds powers under Section 91(2), which gives the Feds the power to legislate on matters of internal trade and commerce.
With decentralization of power to the provinces having become a common trend over the past 25 years, it seems to me that economic agreements like the BC-Alberta TILMA have made the situation less clear-cut. The last major internal trade agreement successfully pursued in Canada was the 1994 Agreement on Internal Trade. Since then, the Federal Government seems to have taken a somewhat passive role in actually negotiating inter-provincial trade agreements.
Would a single regulator be more beneficial to Canada? I don’t know, but with continued talks of impending economic doom, it is unrealistic to believe that Alberta can remain an island unto itself in Confederation.