New enforcement powers to protect people’s investments: Finance Minister Carole James

Carole James

THE Province is taking steps to strengthen enforcement and prevent fraud in B.C.’s investment markets, Finance Minister Carole James announced on Monday.

The Province is introducing amendments to the Securities Act that will allow the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) and the Mutual Fund Dealers Association (MFDA) to enforce penalties as court orders against investment dealers who wrong investors.

“Many British Columbians invest their life savings in the securities market. They expect their money will be safe from fraudsters,” James said. “We’re taking action to protect people who invest by giving self-regulatory organizations the tools they need to collect fines and deter fraudulent behaviour.”

The amendments introduced on Monday will give IIROC and the MFDA the ability to file decisions directly with a court of law. Filing in court means that they will be able to pursue outstanding fines, and order a person to comply with decisions, made by these national self-regulatory organizations.

In recent years, IIROC and the MFDA have been granted the power to file fines in court in other major securities markets in Canada. In Alberta, IIROC has reported seeing an increase in fine collection rates since being given the ability to file court orders.

“As a public interest regulator overseeing the investment industry under the authority of the British Columbia Securities Commission, and other members of the Canadian Securities Administrators, our mandate is to protect investors and support healthy capital markets,” said Andrew Kriegler, President and CEO of IIROC. “Having better tools in our enforcement toolkit will enable us to hold wrongdoers accountable and provide British Columbians with greater confidence to invest. Being able to collect penalties through the courts will send a powerful message that if you harm investors you will pay the penalty.”