The Consumers Council of Canada wrote a letter May 19, 2017 to the Prime Minister and Finance Minister of Canada and provincial first and finance ministers, in which it joins with FAIR Canada and CARP in expressing its concern about the risk of a compromise of investor and consumer protection inherent in some proposals being discussed for the cooperative capital markets regulator (CCMR).
For those unfamiliar with FAIR Canada’s position, please refer to that organization’s website at: https://faircanada.ca/submissions/what-about-the-investors/
The Council has raised its voice repeatedly about the need to facilitate a stronger, more capable consumer voice in internal trade harmonization initiatives of the federal and provincial government, of which CCMR is one.
The process of regulatory harmonization should not be permitted to devolve consumer protection to the lowest common denominator, and consumer representation in regulated areas of the economy should not suffer a setback as a result of these efforts. Competition and the requirement to satisfy consumers should not be lessened.
The CCMR, as currently proposed, would set aside important regulatory progress made by the Ontario Securities Commission to enhance investor protection. The OSC has been a leader in Canada in making serious changes to reduce harm to investors, which has existed for a number of years and still exists today. It has done this through the creation of an investor advisory panel, to inform its policy and rule making. It has been a proponent of addressing investor harms by introducing a best interest standard.
The Ontario securities law establishes the regulatory purpose that investors be protected from unfair and dishonest practices. It is the OSC’s position, and the Council’s, that this requires registrants to deal with investors on a best interest basis; that investors’ interests not be subordinated to the interests of any registrant — whether individual advisor or dealer.