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Conference Examines Canadian Securities Law Enforcement; Federal Minister of Finance to Speak

Contact: Ken McGuffin, Rotman School of Management Media Relations, 416-946-3818,


TORONTO, June 27 /Standard Newswire/ -- A conference, to take place at the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto, takes a timely look at the perceived lack of enforcement of securities law in Canada and the resulting impact on our capital markets system. "Advancing the Enforcement Agenda, Part I: What is the Problem?" will take place on Wednesday, June 27 and will be hosted by the Rotman School's Capital Markets Institute and the C.D. Howe Institute.


There is a widespread perception that securities enforcement processes in Canada are inadequate. The conference will examine key contributors within securities enforcement processes that have led to the perception that Canada is a rogue state when it comes to enforcement of securities law.


"Loosely enforced securities laws appear to have created what is called a Canadian discount where the cost of capital is higher in our country due to the perception that white collar crime goes unchecked - increased enforcement leads to lower cost of capital", says Rotman Professor Paul Halpern, Director of the Capital Markets Institute. "The net effect to investors is higher returns to compensate for greater risk, however, Canadian capital markets may suffer overall as investors decide to leave this market and move to other equity capital markets or invest in relatively safe securities such as government bonds. This behavior is the result of an open economy in which domestic capital is not obliged to 'stay at home' and in which international perceptions of the Canadian capital markets are crucial."


In 2006, the Task Force to Modernize Securities Legislation in Canada commissioned several studies to look at this issue. These studies are the basis of the conference as the authors will be on hand to discuss and debate their findings with senior leaders in the capital markets. A group of over 100 invited guests will be on hand to hear Professor Howell Jackson from Harvard Law School compare and contrast the level of enforcement intensity in Canada and the United States. Associate Professor Poonam Puri from Osgoode Hall Law School will discuss the strengths and limits of a compliance-based approach to the regulation of securities markets in Canada. The Honourable Peter C. Cory and Professor Marilyn Pilkington from Osgoode Hall Law School will present their views on what is preventing the enforcement of securities laws in Canada and offer recommendations on ways to strengthen investigation, prosecution and adjudication of securities offenses.


The Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance, Government of Canada, will provide a federal perspective on the issue. While most of the conference will be private, media are invited to attend Minister Flaherty's remarks at approximately 4:00 pm in the Fleck Atrium of the Rotman School of Management, 105 St. George Street, Toronto.


"I think we would all agree that modernizing our capital markets and improving enforcement are critical if we are going to make our strong Canadian economy even stronger," said Minister Flaherty. "Our government is making progress by implementing our Capital Markets Plan. As we move forward I will continue to count on the support and expertise of the Capital Markets Institute, the Rotman School of Management and the C.D. Howe Institute."


A fall conference, entitled, "Advancing the Enforcement Agenda, Part II: What is the Solution?," is currently in its planning stages and will offer researched based recommendations for the creation of a common securities enforcement agency and a view on creating an effective approach to enforcement issues of an international nature.




Formed in 2000 at the University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management, the Capital Markets Institute (CMI) is a research based facility offering independent analysis on major policy-related issues affecting Canadian capital markets and impacting the country's global capital markets competitiveness. Through its research and conferences, CMI's objective is to provide a clear understanding of the challenges facing Canadian capital markets and offer innovative thinking relating to the institutional tools Canada must develop in order to convert its challenges into opportunities that lead the world's capital markets.




The C.D. Howe Institute is a national, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that aims to improve Canadians' standard of living by fostering sound economic and social policy. The Institute promotes the application of independent research and analysis to major economic and social issues affecting the quality of life of Canadians in all regions of the country. It takes a global perspective by considering the impact of international factors on Canada and bringing insights from other jurisdictions to the discussion of Canadian public policy.




The University of Toronto's Joseph L. Rotman School of Management has set out to become one of the world's top tier business schools. Located in North America's 3rd largest financial centre, the Rotman School is taking an innovative approach to management education, built around Integrative Thinking(tm) and Business Design(tm). For more information and to find out why the Financial Times and BusinessWeek rank Rotman among the leading business schools internationally, visit Integrative Thinking and Business Design are registered trademarks of the Rotman School of Management.