The Consumers Council of Canada commends the federal government and Finance Minister Jim Flaherty for moving ahead to create a national securities regulator.
“Canada has long needed a national securities regulator to provide consistent, nation-wide protection for investors and consumers of financial services,” said Don Mercer, President of the Consumers Council of Canada. “Both costs and fraud can be reduced by having one regulator. This is significant for retail investors.”
The Consumers Council has long been concerned about the duplicative costs being born by consumers as a result of the current structure of securities regulation.
“Retail financial services products today are reviewed over and over, too often just for form’s sake,” said Mercer, who noted the flipside of this is that when this does not happen consumers must adapt to new rules every time they change province of residence.
Mercer said the Council welcomes the federal government’s action to release draft legislation that can be evaluated for constitutionality by the courts. The proposal to establish an Investor Advisory Panel as part of that legislation is an important feature for retail investors.
“This is a first and significant step in what has been a long process to improve investor protection in Canada,” Mercer added. “We embrace the government getting on with this.”
Don Mercer was named President of the Consumers Council of Canada at its annual meeting, and the Council's board of directors was elected.
Immediate Past President Bill Huzar continues to serve consumers as President of the Consumers Council of Canada Foundation.
Mercer retired in April 2007 after a long career in Ottawa, Toronto and Vancouver with Competition Bureau Canada. Following his appointment as head of the Competition Bureaus Ontario Region in October 2000 and subsequently as head of Pacific Region (BC and the Yukon), he was an active member of the Consumers Council of Canada's initial (now Central Ontario) Advisory Committee.