Canada’s Harper Said To Step Up Involvement In Eu Talks

Canada to set up new markets watchdog but scope limited

Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa said the partial deal beat the alternative: a federal agency that Flaherty had threatened to create if he couldn’t reach a deal with the provinces. “To introduce yet possibly another federal regulator, with all the others included, would create an international reputational signal that would say, you know, we don’t have our act together,” Sousa said. QUEBEC FIERCELY OPPOSED Some provinces, particularly Quebec, have seen the efforts to create a national regulator as an intrusion on their powers. The Supreme Court ruled in 2011 that it was unconstitutional for Ottawa to impose a common regulator on the provinces and territories. As a result, Flaherty switched from a unilateral approach to a cooperative format with willing provinces. But more legal wrangling could be in store. The Quebec government said it might challenge the plan in court. “We will ask the Justice Ministry for a legal opinion to analyze the proposal that was announced this morning and we will not hesitate to go to court,” said Alexandre Cloutier, Quebec minister for intergovernmental affairs. Ian Lee, a professor at Carleton University’s Sprott School of Business, noted Quebec’s importance in Canadian capital markets has weakened in the last 30 to 40 years as many of its companies migrated to Toronto. The Quebec government is afraid that trend will only intensify. “If there is only one regulator in Toronto the financial industry will concentrate there,” Quebec Finance Minister Nicolas Marceau said. Quebec authorities are also concerned the proposal threatens the hundreds of technical positions tied to derivatives trading on the Montreal Exchange. Alberta, the country’s oil-rich province, had at one point been leaning in favor of Flaherty’s approach, but earlier this year it came out in favor of the status quo.

have backed an agreement, while European companies including engineering conglomerate Siemens AG of Munich and London-based miner Rio Tinto Plc are supportive. The Canadian Council of Chief Executives said in a Sept. 16 letter to Harper that the two sides are in a make-or-break point in negotiations. Unless both sides move quickly to make the necessary concessions, we fear that the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement may slip out of reach and, with it, Canadas opportunity to secure preferential access to one of the worlds largest markets, John Manley , chief executive of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives, said in the letter. Dairy Market Canada has relatively more to gain from a deal, according to a joint study released in 2008 by the Canada and the European Commission. An agreement would increase annual Canadian gross domestic product by 8.2 billion euros ($10.9 billion), equivalent at the time to about 0.77 percent of the countrys output, the study found. The EU economy would increase its annual output by 11.6 billion euro, or 0.08 percent. While the EU bought 8.9 percent of Canadian exports in 2012, Canada represented 1.9 percent of total EU exports, according to Statistics Canada and Eurostat data. The U.S. received three-quarters of Canadas exports in July. Canada wants its beef producers to be allowed to export more than 40,000 metric tons to Europe, according to Matthias Brinkmann, the European Unions ambassador to Canada.