Vancouver, April 23, 2003
Wise Persons' Committee Announces Staff Appointments and Work Plan
Michael Phelps, Chair of the Committee established by Finance Minister John Manley to assess the adequacy of Canada's securities regulatory system, today announced senior staff appointments and outlined the Committee's work plan for consultation and research.
Elizabeth Harrison, Q.C., of Vancouver has been appointed Executive Director of the Committee. Ms. Harrison is a senior Vancouver corporate finance lawyer with the firm of Farris, Vaughan, Wills & Murphy. She has extensive experience in securities, mergers and acquisitions, as well as corporate matters. As Executive Director, her role will include the overall project co-ordination for the Committee's work and research program. Clay Horner of Toronto will serve as Counsel to the Committee. Mr.
Horner, a senior business law partner with Osler, Hoskin and Harcourt LLP, will provide the Committee with advice and perspectives on key legal and regulatory issues.
Mr. Phelps said that the Committee would approach the initial phase of its work through an extensive consultations program with capital markets participants and a concurrent research initiative. "Efficient, fair and transparent capital markets are essential to a vibrant and growing economy. In this regard, it is especially important that we know the views of those who depend on our capital markets - the issuing companies, the intermediaries, such as investment bankers, and the investors. We want to know whether they have confidence that the markets are well-regulated, both to provide efficient access to capital and to assure fair treatment to investors. We also need to know where they see room for improvement. In short, we want to know the problems with the present system and how best we can fix them."
The Committee's consultations will be initiated by a consultation paper to be published in May. The paper will frame the key issues and written submissions will be sought in response.
In addition, the Committee will also provide an opportunity for discussion of the issues with Committee members. Meetings for that purpose will be scheduled during the months of June and July in cities across the country.
Concurrently a research program on key economic and regulatory issues will be pursued. Mr. Phelps said: "The Committee believes that policy makers need the views of market participants and much better evidence before them so that sound decisions can be made. More work needs to be done on the costs and benefits of the current system of regulation. Options for change need to have their costs carefully assessed."
Mr. Phelps added: "Those who depend on capital markets will need to publicly record their views. A key function of this Committee is to raise awareness of the importance of securities regulation and to test the degree of consensus achievable around potential reforms in this area."
Details of the research program will be announced at a later date.
For further information:
Chairman, Dornoch Capital Inc.,