CALGARY, Jan. 26, 2015 /CNW/ - Court of Queen's Bench Justice C.S. Anderson has ruled that Securities Act (Alberta) provisions allowing the Alberta Securities Commission (ASC) to compel information during a regulatory investigation and provide it to foreign agencies do not violate the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
In 2012, the ASC served Scott Beaudette with a Summons requiring him to produce documents and to attend an examination as part of an ASC investigation. Mr. Beaudette refused to attend his examination, claiming the ASC would not provide written assurances that his evidence would not be shared with U.S. regulatory or law enforcement agencies without prior notice to him. In response to an ASC application in Court for his contempt, Mr. Beaudette then filed an application challenging the constitutionality of the ASC powers to compel evidence and share it with other agencies.
After concluding that there is at least some possibility that Mr. Beaudette could be prosecuted in the United States, the Court held that "what evidence may be used against him in any such prosecution is a matter of criminal procedure and is therefore within the exclusive authority of the U.S."
Justice Anderson relied upon principles articulated by the Supreme Court of Canada striking a balance "between an individual's reasonable expectation of privacy and the state's legitimate interest in obtaining and sharing information" and the fact that "the reasonable expectation of privacy in the heavily regulated securities industry is low." Based on these principles, Justice Anderson found that "the appropriate balance in this case, with its much lower expectation of privacy, also allows for the contemplated sharing of information."
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.
SOURCE Alberta Securities Commission