FINANCE/TREASURY BOARD: Amendments to Securities Act

Amendments to the Securities Act introduced today, Sept. 27, will create consistency with other provinces and improve enforcement of securities laws.

"Changes to the act will improve standards and efficiencies and ensure we remain consistent with other provinces," Finance and Treasury Board Minister Karen Casey said in a news release.

To enhance enforcement, certain powers of the Nova Scotia Securities Commission will be extended to the recognized self-regulatory organizations that it oversees, such as the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada and the Mutual Fund Dealers Association of Canada. This will allow the organizations to file administrative orders with the court to enable the collection of fines and costs as if they were civil judgments, compel evidence from witnesses during an investigation and during a hearing, and provide statutory immunity to the self-regulated organizations staff, directors, officers and agents.

The section of the act that requires the attorney general's consent to initiate quasi-criminal proceedings will be repealed. That decision will then rest with the Securities Commission.

In addition, the amendments will add provisions to establish and regulate financial benchmarks, enhance Community Economic-Development Corporations regulations, and extends existing immunity for employees of the commission from being called as a witness in private civil proceedings or being required to produce documents and written evidence obtained in the conduct of the commission's duties.

All of the amendments are in keeping with Nova Scotia's commitment as part of the Council of Ministers to harmonize securities regulation and promote improved enforcement of securities laws in Canada.

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