About the Commission
Who We Are
We are the Nova Scotia Securities Commission (the "Commission"), an administrative tribunal and agency of the Province of Nova Scotia since 1987 established under the Securities Act (the "Act"), R.S.N.S. 1989, Chapter 418 as amended.
Our mission is to protect investors in Nova Scotia from practices and activities that tend to undermine their confidence in the fairness and efficiency of securities markets and to foster the process of capital formation, where it would not be inconsistent with an adequate level of investor protection.
Propelled by the rapid development of new information technologies, securities markets in Nova Scotia, as in the rest of Canada and the world, are increasingly subject to economic forces that are making borders less and less effective as barriers to outside forces and events. Accordingly, to be effective we have to co-ordinate securities regulation in Nova Scotia with our counterparts in the other 12 provincial and territorial jurisdictions. We do this through the Canadian Securities Administrators (the "CSA"), an umbrella organization that brings together the 13 securities regulatory authorities in Canada to promote harmonious standards and administrative procedures among the securities regulatory community in Canada.
In a shrinking world, the two largest commissions in the CSA, the Ontario Securities Commission and Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) are also full members of the International Organization of Securities Commissions ("IOSCO") and work within IOSCO on behalf of the Canadian securities regulatory community to respond to global issues relevant to investor protection and fairness and efficiency in global capital markets. We are also a member of the North American Securities Administrators Association ("NASAA"), which brings together state and provincial securities regulatory authorities in North America, to discuss and promote solutions to common problems and concerns.
The Commission consists of commissioners and staff that, in an administrative sense, form a single body responsible for the administration of the Act. The Chair is the chief executive officer and heads up the Commission; the Executive Director of Securities is the chief administrative officer responsible for managing its day to day operations.
In a regulatory sense, the Commission functions as a statutory tribunal exercising quasi-judicial powers with both original and appellate jurisdiction, as well as being a rule and policy making body. In a regulatory sense the Executive Director also exercises statutory discretion that is independent of the Commission but subject to general supervision by the Commission through its appellate jurisdiction. The following currently serve as members of the Commission:
Chair: Sarah P. Bradley
Vice-Chair: Paul Radford, Q.C.
J. Walter Thompson, Q.C.,
David Gruchy, Q.C.,
John A. Morash. C.A., C.B.V., F.C.M.A.,
Sandra MacPherson Duncan, Q.C.,
The powers of the Commission are those contained in the Act. These include the power to make rules that have the force of law and to publish policy statements that serve as guidelines for various sectors of the regulated community. The Commission also has investigative powers and may compel the production of evidence in its investigations and proceedings. Other powers include:
- Orders freezing property;
- Withdrawing trading and other privileges;
- Disciplining registrants and reporting issuers;
- Imposing administrative penalties of up to $1,000,000;
Subject to the consent of the Attorney General, initiating prosecutions for violation of Nova Scotia securities laws that may result in fines of up to five million dollars or imprisonment of up to five years less a day or both.
The discretionary powers of the Executive Director include the approval of a variety of offering documents, principally prospectuses, granting a variety of registrations to market participants, holding hearings, conducting examinations and compliance audits of market participants, initiating applications for investigation orders and hearings by the Commission and generally supervising for regulatory compliance. These powers are exercised through three Directors and with the assistance of professional and other staff.
An important element of securities regulation is investor education and communications with all sectors of the investment community and the rapidly evolving financial services industry in all its facets, from the individual adviser to the large conglomerates that dominate the field. It is our earnest hope that our website will make us more accessible to investors and other users of our services and enhance communication between us and the public at large.
Your comments and suggestions are welcome, as is any information you can share with us that may enhance the effectiveness of securities regulation in Nova Scotia. To communicate with one of our branches, please visit our Contact Us page.