Montréal – A single securities commission would have a negative impact on the economic development of Québec. The members of the financial sector must mobilize in order to counter the federal government's proposal. This was the core of the message delivered today by Jean St-Gelais, President and CEO of the Autorité des marchés financiers ("AMF"), before the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montréal.

Mr. St-Gelais expressed his concern that the establishment of a national securities commission would focus decision-making authority in one major centre and shift high value-added activities outside Québec, ultimately leading to a loss of financial expertise in the province.

"We cannot afford to lose the decision-making authority we have in matters pertaining to financial regulation. We cannot give others the green light to determine Québec's needs in financial sector regulation and oversight," affirmed Mr. St-Gelais vigorously. "Ontario has grasped the importance of a regulator as a drawing card for the financial community of Toronto. If it's so important for Ontario, why would it be any less so for Québec?" added the President and CEO.

Under the federal government's proposal, Québec would be deprived of significant leverage for development and its financial activities in Montréal would be further undermined. The proposal would unleash a real threat to professional services firms that operate under the purview of the AMF. It would also threaten the hundreds of highly technical positions in the area of derivatives, which is a specialty of the Montréal financial marketplace that was developed through the leadership of the AMF.

"The debate needs to be broadened beyond political and constitutional considerations. That's why I am calling on you today to help reject the federal government's proposal. We don't need a single securities commission," concluded Jean St-Gelais.

Mr. St-Gelais' address is available (in French only) on the AMF website under Media Centre.

The Autorité des marchés financiers ("AMF") is the regulatory and oversight body for Québec's financial sector.

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