What is Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA)

Canadian Securities Administrators is a collective forum composed of all the provincial and territorial securities regulators of Canada. The CSA's main goal is to collaborate on the creation and harmonization of securities regulations across Canada.

BREAKING DOWN Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA)

The Canadian Securities Administrators aims to achieve consensus on policy decisions which affect Canadian capital markets and its participants. It also aims to work collaboratively in the delivery of regulatory programs across Canada, such as the review of continuous disclosure and prospectus filings.

In addition to its regulation-related functions, the Canadian Securities Administration seeks to improve the education of the public on all aspects of the Canadian securities market. As of 2008, there were 13 different securities regulators (representing each of the 10 Canadian provinces and three Canadian territories) that are part of the CSA. While the CSA coordinates initiatives on a whole-Canada basis, provincial or territorial regulators handle all complaints regarding securities violations in their respective jurisdictions. This arrangement provides a more direct and efficient service, since each regulator is closer to its local investors and market participants. Enforcement of securities regulations is also done on an individual basis by each province or territory.

The CSA also maintains the System for Electronic Document Analysis and Retrieval (SEDAR), which is a publicly accessible database that contains all the required filings related to publicly traded Canadian companies.

History of Canadian Securities Administrators

As a more informal body, the CSA functioned through meetings, conference calls and day-to-day collaboration with the various provincial and territorial securities regulatory authorities. However, i 2003, the CSA was re-structured into a more formal organization. The chair and vice-chair of the organization are elected to two-year terms by its membership. In 2004, the CSA established its permanent secretariat in Montreal.

In recent years, the CSA has developed the “passport system" through which a market participant has access to markets in all passport jurisdictions by dealing only with its principal regulator and complying with one set of harmonized laws. 

Mission of Canadian Securities Administrators

The prevailing mission behind Canadian Securities Administrators is to bring provincial and territorial securities regulators together to share ideas and work at designing policies and regulations that are consistent across the country in order to promote the smooth operation of Canada's securities industry. By collaborating on rules, regulations and other programs, the CSA helps avoid duplication of work, while streamlining the regulatory process for companies seeking to raise investment capital and others working in the Canadian financial industry.