Quebec professor argues against
single securities regulator

A prominent opponent of a
centralised Canadian securities commission has argued that there is
no urgency to establish a national regulator nor is there any cost
benefit in such a move. Jean-Marc Suret, a professor at Laval
University’s School of Accountancy, in Montreal, Quebec, has
co-authored a report that attempts to debunk recommendations issued
by the Crawford Panel report.

There is currently no centralised securities commission in
Canada, as the individual provinces provide their own regulation.
The Crawford Panel was established by the Ontario government to
determine the benefits of a single regulator. In June the panel
released an updated version of its original 2006 report.

Suret and Cécile Carpentier, associate professor at Laval
University’s School of Accountancy, were commissioned by the Quebec
regulatory and oversight body Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF)
to review the Crawford findings. They produced a report called
Proposal for a single securities commission: comments and

This month, Suret discussed the conclusions of his report at an AMF

He claimed that the Crawford Panel arguments justifying the urgency
of establishing a national securities commission in Canada do not
hold up well to analysis. He said arguments regarding the excessive
costs of Canadian securities regulation and the financing limits
imposed on junior issuers to justify the centralisation of Canadian
regulation are highly debatable.

Suret noted that the specific features of the existing market,
which he claims welcomes small-cap and growth companies, are highly
decentralised and favourable to issuers. He said this must be
acknowledged, preserved and improved. The introduction of a system
such as the Alternative Investment Market proposed in the Crawford
Panel’s update would likely prevent many Canadian issuers from
gaining a stock market listing.

Full details of the report can be obtained on the AMF