Quebec leads the country on investor protection

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Quebec leads the country on investor protection

Postby admin » Mon Dec 17, 2007 2:52 pm

Quebec tables investor protection bill

Jérôme-Forget sets out to curb white-collar crime

Sunday, December 16, 2007

By James Langton

Quebec’s Minister of Finance, Monique Jérôme-Forget, tabled legislation Friday that aims to beef up the powers of the Autorité des marchés financiers.

The purpose of the bill is to bolster investor protection. In addition to stipulating heavier fines, the bill introduces the possibility of canceling a transaction and reimbursing the investor who has been swindled. It also assigns new powers of investigation to the Autorité by allowing it to obtain information held by auditors, regardless of professional privilege.

“All of us, the Autorité, prosecutors and the courts, have to work in this direction. We cannot remain impassive while white-collar criminals rob small investors. We cannot be unmoved by the trauma suffered by thousands of people,” she declared. “Previously, a heavy fine was needed to justify a prison sentence. Under this bill, the courts will be allowed to send a person convicted of fraud directly to prison.”

It follows on the legislative recommendations of the Commission des finances publiques sur la protection des épargnants that held hearings earlier in the year.

“Today, we are bringing forward measures to deter swindlers. Our objective is to improve protection for Quebecers’ savings. We are also acting so that investors are better informed and educated about the ins and outs of investment. The bill can be summed up in the three words, effectiveness, severity and education,” Jérôme-Forget concluded.
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