Canadian Securities Regulation

Professor Cristie Ford

When the invitation came in 2012 to co-author the fifth edition of Canadian Securities Regulation (LexisNexis), the main textbook in the field since 1976, Professor Cristie Ford felt exceptionally honoured. The call to join the project came from its original author, His Excellency the Right Honorable David Johnston, former law professor and now Governor General of Canada; and from Kathleen Rockwell, currently Senior Special Counsel with the Alberta Securities Commission, who became co-author in 1998.

With the most recent edition of the textbook published in 2006, Professor Ford brought a fresh set of eyes to the 2014 edition.

“Part of my role was to think about the book as separate from its distinguished and wonderful history. My task was to see if the structure and the contents of the book still really reflected the most important issues in securities regulation today,” Professor Ford explains.

The three authors worked collaboratively to introduce some big-picture restructuring, reframing issues in order to provide a more helpful guide to thinking through securities regulation in the current context. In addition, the authors aimed to create a textbook that more thoroughly addressed securities regulation across all Canadian jurisdictions as well as between them, including both proposals for a common Canadian securities regulator, and continued coordination efforts between provincial regulators.

“We had some fabulous conversations between the three of us on the history, pros and cons of a national securities regulator”, Professor Ford recalls, “although His Excellency did not weigh in on policy matters or provide input into those aspects of the book.” With the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision in Reference Re Securities Act (2011) in particular, the ground had changed substantially, opening up a space for fruitful rethinking.

Another aim was “to make the book more international and forward looking,” as Professor Ford explains. As a result, the chapter on international issues was substantially rewritten, and an entirely new section analyzing emerging challenges in the field was included. Much of these new and expanded topics were driven by developments in communications technology and finance, and the changing nature of the capital markets.

“Securities regulation does not look like it did three decades ago. Issue like high frequency trading, dark pools and crowd funding – all of these are new and challenging ideas for securities regulation, which today has to be placed in the context of broader financial regulation. The book talks about links between securities regulation, banking and insurance regulation – including the links between Canada and international or transnational communities around financial regulation – which is really essential in our globalized and fast-moving world.”

The result is a textbook that combines a broad theoretical framework for regulation with careful attention to detail. Its success and impact is already apparent: though it was published less than a year ago, the fifth edition has already been cited with approval by the Supreme Court of Canada (Theratechnologies Inc. v 121851 Canada Inc., 2015 SCC 18).

“We are the proudest of the new materials on registration, investment funds, and of how we’ve tried to both explain the existing regulatory regime, and generate a sense of how it continues to change and evolve. The new conversations about information technology and emerging issues, in a global perspective – this is where the book really makes the contribution,” Professor Ford concludes.

Professor Cristie Ford

Dr. Cristie Ford is Associate Professor and Director of the Centre for Business Law at the Peter A. Allard School of Law, University of British Columbia. Her research focuses primarily on regulatory theory as it relates to international, US and Canadian financial and securities regulation. Prior to joining UBC, Professor Ford practiced securities regulation and administrative law, including three years at Davis Polk and Wardwell LLP in New York. She obtained her graduate degrees from Columbia Law School, where she also taught in a variety of capacities.

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