ICAC Applauds Finance Minister’s Decision to Eliminate Costly Internal Barriers in Support of Efficient Capital Markets

(November 24, 2006) – Don Cranston, Chairman of the Investment Counsel Association of Canada (ICAC) said, “Canada’s investment counselors are delighted with the Finance Minister’s announcement yesterday that he is committed to working towards the establishment of a common securities regulator, as this definitely signals the governments support for reducing regulatory barriers to investment in Canada, increasing capital market efficiency and paving the way to increasing our global competitiveness. “

Canada’s Minister of Finance, Jim Flaherty, announced yesterday his commitment to eliminate costly internal barriers to trade and mobility and to build on our leading–edge financial system by establishing a common securities regulator.  He added that Canada’s patchwork approach to securities regulation is hurting the country’s reputation with international investors.

Mr. Cranston further noted, “Today financial institutions that want to serve the national market are subject to a significant degree of regulatory overlap and duplication, which results in regulatory inefficiency and complexity, and increases the costs for consumers and financial institutions. “

Katie Walmsley, President of the Investment Counsel Association commented, “We are encouraged by the government’s direction which balances the need to ensure market integrity and investor protection while encouraging economic growth for Canada as a whole.”    Reflecting on the Finance Minister’s announcement to introduce a single securities regulator, Ms. Walmsley added, “A move towards a single securities regulator won’t happen overnight nor without challenges, but we believe it’s a necessary and positive direction that will move Canada more in step with the Western world and will ultimately be good for Canadians. “

The ICAC has been an active participant in the discussions relating to the establishment of a National Securities Regulator. In its submissions to each province’s government and provincial securities commissions, ICAC notes the major challenges in dealing with multiple regulators and the negative impact on the investment management industry in Canada.

About ICAC

The Investment Counsel Association of Canada (ICAC) is the representative organization for investment counsel and portfolio managers in Canada.  ICAC was established in 1952 and its current members are responsible for managing in excess of over $500 billion of client assets.  The overall mission of the Association is to advocate the highest standards of unbiased portfolio management in the interest of investors served by Members.  Member firms are only in the business of managing investments for clients in keeping with each client’s needs, objectives and risk tolerances.

Katie Walmsley,
Investment Counsel Association of Canada
Toronto, Ontario