Ottawa, May 8, 2003

Public input will help shape securities regulatory reform in Canada

Wise Persons’ Committee solicits Canadians views to make the best securities regulatory system for Canada

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VANCOUVER, May 8, 2003 — A new federally-appointed committee is seeking public input into securities regulatory reform in Canada. Michael Phelps, chair of the Wise Persons’ Committee (WPC), today announced the release of the committee’s consultation paper designed to elicit the views of participants in Canadian capital markets. Submissions are being sought from all interested parties by June 30, 2003. Following receipt of submissions, the committee will meet with interested parties in select cities across Canada in July and August.

"Strong capital markets are fundamental to job creation and Canada’s economy," said Phelps. "Our committee’s objective is to have active involvement of all participants — investors, issuers and intermediaries so we can make recommendations that will enhance our securities and regulatory system and keep Canada competitive in a global economy."

Established in March 2003 by Finance Minister John Manley, the WPC is seeking views on a number of key securities regulatory issues including: the strengths and weaknesses of the current securities regulatory structure in Canada; the effect of Canada’s regulatory structure on the international competitiveness of Canadian capital markets and economy; the costs associated with the current system in Canada; regional and local capital markets considerations; and most importantly what the best securities regulatory system for Canada would be.

"This process needs to be primarily driven by the views of active participants in our capital markets — issuers, intermediaries and investors. If meaningful reform is to be achieved, these are the views that need to be recognized," added Phelps.

In addition to the consultation process, the committee is commissioning research on a number of issues, including: the importance of the securities regulatory structure for Canadian markets and economic growth; an analysis of the securities regulatory structure in other jurisdictions; the costs associated with Canada’s current regulatory structure; local and regional capital markets issues; as well as the impact of the current system on enforcement.

The committee has engaged the Capital Markets Institute at the University of Toronto to assist in the design of and to direct the Committee's research program. Doug Harris, director of the Capital Markets Institute, has joined the staff of the Committee on a part-time basis to carry out this function.

The mandate of the WPC is to undertake an independent objective review of the current securities regulatory framework and identify an appropriate model for securities regulation in Canada. The committee members include: Michael Phelps, chair, Vancouver; Harold MacKay, vice-chair, Saskatchewan; Thomas Allen, Toronto; Pierre Brunet, Montreal; Wendy Dobson, Toronto; Edwin C. Harris, Halifax; and Michael Tims, Calgary. The WPC will report to the Finance Minister by November 30, 2003.

Copies of the consultation paper can be obtained on the committee’s web site: www.fin.gc.ca/wise-averties or by e-mailing the committee at wpc-cpa@farris.com

For further information:

Michelle Ward
National Public Relations (Vancouver)
604-684-6655
mward@national.ca

Richard Petersen
National Public Relations (Montréal)
514-843-2314
rpetersen@national.ca

Peter Block
National Public Relations (Toronto)
416-848-1373
pblock@national.ca