Feds have a strong case with proposed securities law, says Osgoode prof

There was a time when constitutional references to the country’s high courts had an air of sanctity about them. Not so the fight brewing over the decision by Jim Flaherty (LLB ’73), the finance minister, to create a national securities regulator, which has spawned three court references over the constitutionality of the federal government’s proposed move.

Professor Poonam Puri, who teaches securities law in York University’s Osgoode Hall Law School, says the current state of capital markets provides ample evidence of the need for a comprehensive securities regime, which exists in all major developed countries other than Canada, wrote the National Post Jan. 20.

“The feds’ case is very strong because capital markets have globalized in significant ways over the last several decades,” says Puri. “Issuers, investors and capital are all quite fluid, making a national body that is responsible for enforcement very important because the nature of the misconduct that occurs commonly spans provincial and national borders.”

Neil Finkelstein, a veteran litigator at McCarthy Tetrault LLP who has studied the scope of the trade and commerce power, is even more emphatic. “The case for the constitutionality of a federal regulator is powerful and overwhelming,” he says. “It will be very difficult to argue the other side.”

Indeed, the federal government, known to have a powerful in-house constitutional law legal team that rarely requires outside assistance, has pulled out all the stops by retaining former Supreme Court Justice Frank Iacobucci (Hon. LLD ’05); Blake, Cassels & Graydon’s scholar-in-residence, prominent constitutional scholar and former Osgoode dean Peter Hogg; and University of Toronto Professor Michael Trebilcock, who holds the Faculty of Law Chair in Law & Economics, to assist with issues relating to the proposed legislation.

Rapist posed with mayor for Twitter photo

It’s the victims of Daniel Katsnelson’s sexual assaults, not his business dealings with City Hall, who have Mayor David Miller’s attention, wrote the Toronto Sun Jan. 20.

Katsnelson (BA ’06), 27, pleaded guilty Monday to two counts of sexual assault in the September 2007 attacks at York University’s Vanier Residence during Frosh Week.

After he was caught, he was placed under house arrest but was still allowed to conduct business – and using the name Daniel Kaye, he helped create the company Go Go Green, which later was renamed the Responsible Business Group.

In 2009, that company partnered with the City of Toronto in a five-year deal to create the Live Green Toronto Membership Card, which was reportedly to offer local savings at environmentally and socially responsible businesses.

According to reports, Katsnelson was the manager of business development.

But none of Katsnelson’s history, or arrest, was known to Miller, who posed with Katsnelson – then Daniel Kaye – in August 2009 for a Twitter pic. It has since been taken down from the mayor’s Twitpic page.

“From my perspective, I meet hundreds of thousands of people a year, and as you know I like to take Twitter pics,” Miller said Tuesday. “My thoughts are for the victims, and I hope it helps bring them some healing that he pleaded guilty.”

Katsnelson will be sentenced on March 26.

  • CBC Radio’s “Here & Now” also reported on the Katsnelson/Miller photo Jan. 19.

On air

  • James Laxer, professor in York’s Department of Equity Studies, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies, spoke about US President Barack Obama’s first year in office, on Radio Canada International’s “The Link” Jan. 19.
  • Kris Cardoso, president of the York University Portuguese Association, spoke about his organization’s fundraising efforts for a scholarship fund, on CFMT-TV’s “Telejournal” (Portuguese) Jan. 19.