January 4th, 2016
Public Safety Minister
House of Commons
Re: This is a complaint about systemic methods by which the many Provincial Securities Commissions violate and/or “exempt” Provincial Securities Act laws for the benefit of investment firms who pay the salaries of Securities Commission employees. This is costing Canadians billions of dollars each year. This has gone on for decades without attention. It is doing irreversible harm to our economy and our society.
I write to you about an issue of abuse. Financial abuse by financial institutions which is affecting all Albertans, individuals, municipalities, Universities, retirement plans, pension funds.
It also illustrates where the various Provincial Securities Commissions are failing in their mandate to PROTECT Canadians.
Example #1 Securities Commissions ignore public protective laws of the Securities Act at a cost to Canadians, to institutions such as the Alberta Treasury Branch, Alberta municipalities, Universities, Public Service Pension Plan of Canada etc.
Example #2 Securities Commissions routinely and regularly grant “exemptive relief” from Securities laws, with NO public notice, NO warning, nor public input into the reasons or the risks. This also has the effect of costing Canadians billions while benefitting investment product sellers.
Further to Example #1 the Commissions are wilfully blind to thousands of industry registrants who are legally registered in the capacity of “dealing representative” (formerly called salesperson’s or known as “brokers”). Thousands of such product sellers who owe no legal fiduciary duty to protect investors are flaunting Securities Act laws and calling themselves by another, separate license category. This is contrary to the Alberta Securities Act, Ontario Act, BC,and so on, while these agencies turn a blind eye and ignore enforcement of these laws.
This has the effect of misrepresenting a financial person who DOES NOT have to place the interests of the investor first, as someone who DOES place the interests of investor’s first.This is tantamount to a fraudulent misrepresentation and is a failure to follow Alberta law (section 100).
This is like a person referring to themselves as a “doctor” without having the proper license, qualifications, or protective obligations (the “do no harm” oath) to the public.
It is an illegal activity as well as an immoral one, and yet the ASC acts wilfully blind to this common practice which has the effect of deceiving millions of consumers and investors.
The City of Lethbridge is missing nearly $30 million dollars after taking financial “advice” from one such person, who was legally licensed as a “salesperson”, while representing himself illegally as an “advisor”. Millions of other Albertans face this same deception every day with their life savings. Hamilton Ontario took a 90 million dollar hit due to this illegality. The pension for Judges and RCMP officers (PPSP) lost $2 billion during the collapse a number of years ago.
The total harm to Canada was just over $30 billion, making it one of the largest, (and most successful robberies in Canadian history).
This is akin to allowing financial firms, with the aid of regulators, to pick the pockets of Canadians on a regular and repeated basis.
I ask specifically that the government require all Securities Regulators to correct, or be held accountable to Canadians for being unwilling or unable to protect Canadians from thousands of these misrepresentations, contrary to Provincial Securities Acts.
Example #2 is the Commissions granting “exemptive relief” (permission to NOT have to follow Securities Acts). This occurs up to 500 or more times in some years, and is done in a near-silent-to the public fashion. Members of the public are not informed when investment products they may purchase have been sold without the full protections of laws. There is usually no public notice given, nor ability for the public to be informed, to provide input, or to protest these seemingly one-sided “deals”.
Securities Commissions most-oft used statement to justify these “exemptions” to laws is just the following,
“each of the decision makers, is satisfied that the conditions required to make the decision, has been met”.
This is government gobbledygook and is indicative of the arbitrary, haphazard, and reckless manner in which the fundamental protective laws of financial protection are being flaunted by Securities Commissions in Canada.
allowing banks to dump poorly performing investment under-writings (slow selling investment products) into the mutual fund holdings of bank customers, without notice to these customers
Other examples include
allowing investments without proper ratings and safety, to be sold, which has resulted in billions of dollars being lost to consumers, investors, cities, towns, universities, pension funds
These acts of willful blindness to laws, and secret permissions to allow intentional violations of laws are contrary to the protective intentions of the Securities Commissions
The following captured image (from an Ontario Government report into the Ontario Securities Commission (2011?) is illustrative of how provincial Securities Commissions in Canada fail in their public protective functions and cost the country billions. The loss to Canada (and gain to those the OSC, ASC etc., regulate) was in the neighbourhood of $35 billion dollars and is considered to be Canada’s largest financial crime/loss to date.