New Powers for the B.C. Securities Commission Will Soon Come Into Force

Money tree growing from a pile of coins in hands
"With the new powers for the B.C. Securities Commission coming into effect, people can feel confident knowing that B.C.’s investment markets are protected by the strongest enforcement powers in Canada,” said Carole James, Minister of Finance.

New powers for the B.C. Securities Commission (BCSC) will soon come into force to better protect people from fraud and help build a more fair, sustainable economy that works for everyone.

“With the new powers for the B.C. Securities Commission coming into effect, people can feel confident knowing that B.C.’s investment markets are protected by the strongest enforcement powers in Canada,” said Carole James, Minister of Finance. “This is one more step we’re taking to build a fair B.C. economy and show fraudsters that there are consequences to breaking the rules in British Columbia.”

Once in force, the BCSC will have additional tools to go after fraudsters, including enhancements to the BCSC’s current ability to freeze property and other assets, along with new measures, such as seizing registered retirement savings plans.

“These new powers will allow us to pursue more wrongdoers and provide greater opportunities to return money to victims of fraud,” said Brenda Leong, chair and CEO of the BCSC. “It will help us to make B.C. a place where people can invest with confidence and companies can flourish.”

Additionally, the province will benefit from a modernized legislative framework for the regulation of derivatives and benchmarks that is harmonized with other jurisdictions across Canada.

Amendments to the Securities Act build on government’s work to crack down on white-collar crime. Other steps include launching a public inquiry into money laundering in B.C.’s economy and introducing legislation to end ownership hidden in corporations and real estate.

Public consultations are underway to gain input on the creation of a registry of beneficial ownership information for B.C.’s private businesses, modernizing mortgage-broker legislation and regulating money services businesses.

Quick Facts:

  • The Securities Act regulates the buying and selling of securities, such as stocks, bonds and other financial instruments, and the raising of funds by companies in the capital market
  • In October 2019, the B.C. government passed new legislation to equip the BCSC with the strongest enforcement and collection tools in the country.
  • Most of the amendments to the Securities Act will come into force on March 27, 2020, with the remaining changes to follow in the coming months.