BCSC to get strongest collection and enforcement powers in Canada
Vancouver – The provincial government has announced sweeping changes to the Securities Act, giving the British Columbia Securities Commission (BCSC) some of the strongest powers in the country to protect investors and tougher consequences for wrongdoers.
“We’d like to thank the B.C. government for taking action to crack down on white collar crime with these ground-breaking amendments,” said Brenda Leong, chair and CEO of the BCSC. “We now have new and better tools to go after the bad actors who break the law and cause significant harm to investors and the capital markets.”
The proposed amendments, many of which are unprecedented in Canada, include:
- broader powers to collect financial sanctions when there are assets to collect
- mandatory minimum jail sentences for certain types of fraud
- increased penalties for certain types of misconduct
- new prohibitions on false or misleading statements
- tighter rules around promotional activities
“Our government is taking action to make sure we have the strongest protections in Canada for people who are investing and tough penalties for those who are abusing the system,” said Carole James, Minister of Finance. “These changes send a clear signal to fraudsters that the rules do apply in B.C. and if you break them, there will be consequences. People can feel confident knowing that the investment markets will be protected today and into the future.”
In addition to enhancing the BCSC’s collection and enforcement powers, the amendments modernize the Act to ensure it is keeping pace with evolving markets and systemic risks. This includes a regime for derivatives and benchmarks that is harmonized with other jurisdictions across Canada such as Alberta and Ontario.
The legislation introduced today includes more than 100 changes to the Act, the most extensive amendments since it was enacted in 1996.
Read more about the proposed amendments in the Ministry of Finance’s press release and backgrounder.
About the British Columbia Securities Commission (www.bcsc.bc.ca)
The British Columbia Securities Commission is the independent provincial government agency responsible for regulating capital markets in British Columbia through the administration of the Securities Act. Our mission is to protect and promote the public interest by fostering:
- A securities market that is fair and warrants public confidence
- A dynamic and competitive securities industry that provides investment opportunities and access to capital
Elise Palmer or Brian Kladko
604-899-6830 or 604-899-6713
604-899-6854 or 1-800-373-6393 (toll free)
Learn how to protect yourself and become a more informed investor at www.investright.org