Top constitutional law experts to discuss national securities regulator

The constitutional battle over the proposed creation of a national securities watchdog in Canada is heating up. While the federal government seeks the Supreme Court’s opinion on whether Ottawa has the power to create a national securities regulator, unwilling provinces such as Alberta and Quebec are fuming. How will this constitutional fight over economic regulation play out?

To help put the legal debate in perspective, the Jay & Barbara Hennick Centre for Business & Law at York University and Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP (Blakes) are hosting a panel discussion with four of the country’s leading constitutional law authorities at 4pm on Thursday, Nov. 12, at Blakes, 199 Bay St., Suite 2800, Commerce Court West, Toronto.

Peter Hogg (left), scholar-in-residence at Blakes and former dean of York’s Osgoode Hall Law School, will lead a panel discussion with Doug Hyndman, chair & CEO of the Canadian Securities Regulator Transition Office; John C. Major, retired justice of the Supreme Court of Canada; and Jean-François Gaudreault-DesBiens, professor of constitutional law at the Université de Montréal. The discussion will be moderated by Osgoode Professor and former dean Marilyn Pilkington.

"With the establishment of the Canadian Securities Transition Office in June 2009, Canada is on its way toward a national securities regulator," Hogg says. "This discussion will showcase some of the major elements of the debate about the most effective way to regulate the nation’s securities industry and manage the transition to a federal regime."

"We are so pleased to be co-hosting this important seminar with Blakes," says Hennick Centre Director Edward Waitzer. "The esteemed panel promises a lively discussion of an issue with particular relevance now that the federal government has indicated that it will seek a determination from the Supreme Court on the constitutionality of the national securities regulator."

The Hennick Centre for Business & Law is the first Canadian centre to promote and develop joint business and law scholarship and education. The Centre is a joint initiative of York University’s Osgoode Hall Law School and the Schulich School of Business. This seminar is part of a series of public programs hosted by the centre on issues at the intersection of law, business and public policy.

Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP has more than 550 lawyers and offices in Canada, the United States, Europe and China. Blakes was named Canada’s 2009 law firm of the year by Who’s Who Legal and, for the second year running, by the Practical Law Company Which Lawyer? Awards.

For more information, contact Archana Sridhar, JD, associate director of the Jay & Barbara Hennick Centre for Business & Law, at 416-736-5490 or