TORONTO - An overwhelming majority of members of the PROSPECTORS AND DEVELOPERS ASSOCIATION OF CANADA (PDAC) want a single national securities regulator and uniform securities laws across Canada.
In addition, 75% of those surveyed expressed their desire for the introduction of a separate set of securities laws for junior companies that are less complex, costly and time-consuming than existing securities laws.
In a recent membership survey conducted on behalf of PDAC by Angus Reid Strategies, 88% of those surveyed said they wanted a single national securities regulator. The online survey was conducted among a representative sample of 255 members from Sept. 21 to Oct. 10, 2007. The results are accurate within a margin of error of +/- 6.0%, 19 times out of 20.
Almost half of respondents expressed dissatisfaction with the provincial securities commissions. The survey found moderately positive ratings for the current Passport System. However, when asked to choose between a continuation of the Passport System with Ontario as a participant and a single national securities regulator, 62% preferred a single national regulator and 10% preferred an Ontario-inclusive Passport System. A further 28% were unsure.
Respondents believe that the advantages of a single regulator will include reduced cost, reduced compliance times and increased international competitiveness.
Patricia Dillon, president of the PDAC, said, "The PDAC has been a long-time supporter of the establishment of a single regulator with meaningful regional representation. We have also supported the introduction and reform of securities laws in order to facilitate raising capital and minimize the costs of regulatory compliance. The results of this survey clearly demonstrate that PDAC members consider securities reform to be a priority issue."
HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE SURVEY INCLUDE:
- Securities laws should be uniform and applied consistently across Canada, without opting-out provisions.
- Securities laws applicable to junior companies must be simpler, and compliance with these laws must be less costly and consume less management time.
- There should be increased emphasis on the enforcement of securities laws.
- 88% of PDAC members support the establishment of a single securities regulator.
- PDAC members overwhelmingly prefer a single securities regulator compared with the Passport System.
- There is strong support for some specific features of a single national regulator.
- An ombudsman's office should be established to receive complaints from issuers and investors.
- And there should be regional offices across Canada with decision-making authority and the power to provide discretionary relief.
A copy of the survey results and the online survey questionnaire are available at www.pdac.ca.