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SOURCE Alberta Securities Commission
CALGARY, Aug. 22, 2014 /CNW/ - The Court of Queen's Bench of Alberta has upheld a Provincial Court ruling that Securities Act (Alberta) provisions that allow the court to impose penal sanctions, including heavy fines and imprisonment, upon those found guilty of fraud and misrepresentation are within the constitutional powers of the Province of Alberta.
Three respondents facing charges of fraud and misrepresentation in Provincial Court under Securities Act (Alberta) provisions challenged the constitutionality of those provisions, arguing that they are in fact criminal law powers, which are the exclusive jurisdiction of the federal government. In May 2013, the Provincial Court dismissed the original application.
The Court of Queen's Bench dismissed the respondents' appeal, ruling that it is within the Alberta Legislature's power to enact these provisions. In reaching its decision, the Court stated:
"the Alberta Legislature may enact legislation that intrudes criminal law, provided the purpose is tied to a provincial head of power."
The Court held that the provincial aspects of the Securities Act provisions at issue:
"... include the suppression of conditions that are likely to cause crime, and prevention of crime, in respect of a larger, comprehensive regulatory scheme that deals with Alberta securities laws."
The ASC is the regulatory agency responsible for administering the province's securities laws. It is entrusted with fostering a fair and efficient capital market in Alberta and with protecting investors. As a member of the Canadian Securities Administrators, the ASC works to improve, coordinate and harmonize the regulation of Canada's capital markets.
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