CSA and IIROC publish joint Consultation Paper on Dark Pools, Dark Orders and Other Developments in Market Structure in Canada


Toronto – The Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) and the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) published today a Joint Consultation Paper on Dark Pools, Dark Orders, and Other Developments in Market Structure in Canada.

Over the past few years, the Canadian capital markets have experienced an evolution of market structure. Equity trading in Canada has moved from a centralized marketplace to an environment of multiple marketplaces, where exchanges and alternative trading systems trade the same securities.

The Joint Consultation Paper outlines some of the recent developments that have taken place in Canadian market structure such as the introduction of marketplaces that offer no pre-trade transparency (dark pools), the introduction of new order types, including those that have limited or no transparency (dark orders), the interaction of visible and dark orders on the same trading platform, and the introduction of smart order routers. The Consultation Paper also describes the characteristics of an efficient and effective market that are used to analyze the impact of these developments.

“New developments in market structure can have far reaching impact,” said Jean St-Gelais, CSA Chair and President and Chief Executive Officer of the Autorité des marchés financiers. “It is important that we engage all participants in the market including investors, both retail and institutional, in this important dialogue.”

The Consultation Paper, which is open for public comment until December 29, 2009, discusses the evolution of the Canadian market, the characteristics of an efficient and effective market, specific issues for consideration and the conclusion and comment process.

“The structure of our capital markets is constantly evolving,” said Susan Wolburgh Jenah, President and CEO of IIROC. “Given our mandate to protect investors, we want to ensure that all of the issues raised in the paper are explored.”

The CSA and IIROC are soliciting feedback to encourage discussion on the specific issues and questions raised in the Consultation Paper. All participants in the market are encouraged to respond to issues raised and questions asked in the Paper and participate in a roundtable discussion that will follow to ensure that all related issues are explored.

The Joint CSA/IIROC Consultation Paper on Dark Pools, Dark Orders, and Other Developments in Market Structure in Canada is available on the websites of various CSA members and IIROC.

The CSA, the council of the securities regulators of Canada’s provinces and territories, co-ordinates and harmonizes regulation for the Canadian capital markets.

IIROC is the national self-regulatory organization which oversees all investment dealers and trading activity on debt and equity marketplaces in Canada.

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For more information:

CSA member name

Point of contact

Phone number

Autorité des marchés financiers

Sylvain Théberge

514 940-2176

Alberta Securities Commission

Mark Dickey

403 297-4481

British Columbia Securities Commission

Ken Gracey

604 899-6577

Financial Services Regulation Division, Newfoundland and Labrador

Doug Connolly

709 729-2594


Connie Craddock

416 943-5870

Manitoba Securities Commission

Ainsley Cunningham

204 945-4733

New Brunswick Securities Commission

Wendy Connors-Beckett

506 643-7745

Northwest Territories Securities Office

Donn MacDougall

867 920-8984

Nova Scotia Securities Commission

Natalie MacLellan

902 424-8586

Nunavut Securities Office

Louis Arki

867 975-6587

Ontario Securities Commission

Carolyn Shaw-Rimmington

416 593-2361

PEI Securities Office, Office of the Attorney General

Janice Callbeck

902 368-6288

Saskatchewan Financial Services Commission

Barbara Shourounis

306 787-5842

Yukon Securities Registry

Fred Pretorius

867 667-5225