Driving privileges at risk for those who don’t pay BCSC penalties
Vancouver – The British Columbia Securities Commission (BCSC or Commission) will be able to block the issuance or renewal of a driver’s licence and vehicle licences and vehicle plates to anyone who has not fully paid a BCSC-imposed sanction for investment misconduct.
The new power, which became effective March 29, adds to the consequences of not paying debts owed to the Commission. British Columbia is the first province in Canada to link unpaid sanctions for violations of securities law to driving privileges.
“If investors and our capital markets are harmed because of misconduct, there should be consequences. If you don’t pay the sanctions we impose, it can have an impact on your everyday life,” said Brenda Leong, the BCSC’s Chair and Chief Executive Officer.
The power to deny driving privileges was part of a package of amendments to the Securities Act passed by the British Columbia government in October 2019. The amendments give the BCSC new and better tools to pursue violators of the Act, including broader powers to collect financial sanctions when there are assets to collect.
When a BCSC panel or a court has determined that an individual violated the Act, it can order a financial sanction. The panel or court can also order the person to pay the amount they obtained (or avoided losing) through the misconduct, which can then be paid to investors who suffered financial losses.
The BCSC registers every monetary sanction with the Supreme Court of British Columbia, giving it the same force and effect as if it were a judgment of that court.
The BCSC’s new power can be applied only if the amount owed is $3,000 or more, and the Commission will consider on a case-by-case basis when to use the new power to block driver’s licences and vehicle licence and vehicle plate issuances and renewals. The Commission must notify a person when it intends to use this power. If a person subsequently agrees to a payment plan, or pays the amount they owe in full, the Commission must withdraw the notice.
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
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