Montreal board of trade urges Joe Oliver to abandon national securities regulator
Federal Finance Minister Joe Oliver speaks at a luncheon of the Halifax Chamber of Commerce in Halifax on Tuesday, April 22, 2014. (Darren Pittman / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
The Canadian Press
Published Wednesday, April 23, 2014 4:14PM EDT
MONTREAL -- Montreal's business community has urged Finance Minister Joe Oliver Wednesday to "reconsider" the federal government's plans to create a national securities regulator.
In introducing Oliver for his first speech in Quebec since his appointment a month ago, Board of Trade president Michel Leblanc said the business community is deeply worried about any system -- even one that would be voluntary and co-operative -- that would threaten the province's ability to regulate securities and would cost jobs in the city's financial cluster.
Oliver didn't address the warning in his speech, which mainly highlighted the government's desire to balance the budget next year and help families by lowering their taxes.
But he said in Halifax on Tuesday that the creation of a national securities regulator will be a priority for him after working for decades on the controversial issue.
Last fall, former finance minister Jim Flaherty and the governments of Ontario and British Columbia said they would establish a common regulator.
Quebec's political parties have unanimously objected to the replacement of the patchwork system of 13 provincial and territorial regulators. It mounted a successful challenge in the Supreme Court, which ruled Ottawa could not unilaterally impose a new system.
Meanwhile, Leblanc also called upon the minister to strengthen venture capital in Canada by locating a fund of funds in Montreal.