Hon. FERNAND RINFRET (Secretary of State):
Mr. Speaker, I must thank my hon.
friend for being kind enough to give me notice of his question. In the course of a recent debate the hon. member for Kootenay East (Mr. Stevens) also alluded, to this matter. I may say that it is not the intention of the government this session to table an official report of the conference, which has not completed its work, but I have
here a few notes which it may be of interest to place on record, if the house will permit.
Following a resolution unanimously adopted at the last dominion-provincial conference the Secretary of State convened a committee of officials of the dominion and the provinces to prepare a draft of a new companies act or of amendments to the present act for the purpose of endeavouring to secure uniform laws dealing with companies throughout Canada. The first meeting of this committee was held at Ottawa, November 3, to November 7, 1936. There were present representatives of various departments of the dominion government and representatives of governments of eight of the provinces. British Columbia did not find it possible to have a representative present at the time selected for the meeting, but it is expected that the province will be represented at future meetings.
The committee made excellent progress in a preliminary study of the questions, and the representatives have submitted reports to their respective governments. Subcommittees were set up to deal with particular branches of the subject. Some of these subcommittees have already had meetings to prepare their reports for the consideration of the committee, and others are expected to meet during the next few months. It is hoped that these subcommittees will be able to report to a subsequent committee meeting which will be held during the coming summer or early in the autumn.
The committee reviewed very carefully the prospectus sections of the present Dominion Companies Act and decided to recommend the adoption of prospectus sections which are based very largely on those in the present dominion act. Since the amendments suggested by the committee in regard to the prospectus sections dealt largely with form and not with the substance of these sections, I have not considered it necessary to recommend amending legislation at this session of parliament. It appears possible that the committee, at its next general meeting, may make such further progress as to enable it to submit to the government a draft bill which would deal with other important provisions of the present act, and which might involve a general revision of the act.
In addition to dealing with the question of proposed legislation, the committee has been able to make substantial progress in arranging for a better exchange of information on questions of administration not only of the companies acts but also of the securities acts of the provinces.
Subtopic: COMMITTEE OF DOMINION AND PROVINCIAL OFFICIALS TO CONSIDER AMENDMENTS NECESSARY TO UNIFORMITY