B.C. Finance Minister Carole James. (Black Press)

B.C. Finance Minister Carole James. (Black Press)

B.C. moves against bad investment dealers

Carole James says seniors getting new protection from ‘fraudsters’

The B.C. government is plugging a loophole in its securities legislation to allow investment industry penalties to be enforced by the regulator in B.C. Supreme Court.

Finance Minister Carole James joined representatives of the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) at a Victoria seniors’ centre Friday to explain the changes James has introduced in the B.C. legislature.

“Many British Columbians invest their life savings in the securities market,” James said. “They expect their money will be safe from fraudsters.”

The industry self-regulator reports that it currently has $4.7 million in unpaid fines against individuals in B.C. dating back to 2008. It conducted 21 investigations of securities sales in 2017, with seven prosecutions completed.

“Seniors form IIROC’s largest source of complaints and represent the highest proportion of victims of misconduct,” the agency said in a statement. “Almost 40 per cent of all cases reviewed and approximately 30 per cent of prosecutions involve seniors.”

B.C. and Manitoba are moving to join Alberta, Ontario, Quebec and Prince Edward Island in enforcing IIROC penalties in court.

BC legislature