Question of the week: What is the CSA?

We have mentioned the CSA in some of our older blog posts, but it dawned on us the other day that we’ve never explicitly detailed who and what the CSA is.

The Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) is made up of the securities regulators in Canada’s 10 provinces and three territories. That includes the Nova Scotia Securities Commission. The CSA’s primary responsibility is to develop a harmonized approach to securities regulation across Canada.

Housing the provincial and territorial securities regulators under one umbrella organization allows them to share ideas and develop policies and regulations that are consistent across the country and benefit the Canadian securities industry as a whole. Not only does this allow for consultation between the provinces it also reduces or completely negates repetition of work on issues and can streamline the regulatory process across the country.

One example of this is the passport system. Through the passport system a market participant receives access to markets in all passport jurisdictions by dealing with it principal regulator and complying with a single set of harmonized laws. This enhancement provides market participants with much easier access to Canada’s capital markets.

Internally the CSA is an informal body that has a chair and vice-chair that are elected by its members and serve two terms. The current chair is Louis Morisset, the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Autorité des marchés financiers, and the vice-chair is Don Murray, the Chair of the Manitoba Securities Commission.

A permanent CSA Secretariat is stationed in Montreal and monitors and coordinates the work of the numerous CSA committees. The CSA has committees that work on a number of relevant topics such as Enforcement, Market Oversight, Communications, Investor Education and Policy Coordination. These committees are made of members from the provincial and territorial securities regulators. To learn more about the CSA and it makeup please visit their website.