Single regulator not the point in New Brunswick

Pierre Lortie made a compelling case yesterday in Fredericton to keep the current system of provincial regulators and not move to a single national securities regulator as advocated by the current federal finance minister.

The room was packed with people but despite this the very large, gray elephant in the room stood out.   There are only – a few (3?) actively traded listed companies on the TSX based in New Brunswick and very few if any listed on the TSX Venture exchange. 

So Mr. Lortie’s assertion that moving to a single regulator would hurt high growth firms may be true it just wouldn’t hurt high growth firms in New Brunswick.

We have a capital markets problem in New Brunswick so the other part of the NBSC mandate, to promote capital markets – is far more interesting to me.

Capital is critical to economic development.  We need to try and figure out ways to get more capital working in New Brunswick.  The regulation of this stuff matters more when there are actually companies to regulate.

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3 Responses to Single regulator not the point in New Brunswick

  1. Anonymous says:

    A very important issue that very few outside Ontario-Quebec-Alberta are aware of is the negative impact that a national regulator would have on every province except Ontario. Just think of all the support functions that the provinces would lose. A significant amount of the work that is done today by NB lawyers, accountants, etc to support the activities of the NBSC would simply go to Toronto. In addition, any potential opportunity to leverage economic development via NBSC would be gone for good. I am amazed that only Quebec and Alberta (and Manitoba to some extent) have realized this.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Oh, and I forgot to say that over time the expertise is gone for good too.

  3. Anonymous, you are correct about the loss to NB in the event that a national regulator is established. Both the Hockin report and the Wise Persons report had nothing to say about regional offices. In addition, when Doug Hyndman who heads up the Canadian Securities Transition Office (CSTO) was in Saint John recently, he was asked whether there would be a regional regulatory structure east of Toronto. He demurred and stated that it was being “considered” but would say no more. Our loss would have no material impact on Toronto. I find it even more amazing that there is so much support for a national regulator in Atlantic Canada in the absence of even a shred of evidence that we would be better off in any way.

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