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What is BCSC?

By Douglas Thane

Reviewed by Alexandra Pankratyeva

Fact checked by Rachel Roberts

British Columbia Securities Commission definition

BCSC stands for the British Columbia Securities Commission. BCSC is an independent regulatory agency that administers securities legislation within the province of British Columbia and is located in the capital city of Vancouver. 

The BC Securities Commission, in conjunction with the 12 other independent securities regulatory organisations located in Canada, provides oversight of securities market activities in the province. 

The BCSC monitors all securities and capital raising activities including those companies listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) and TSX Venture Exchange (TSVX), and regulates over half of all Canadian-listed companies.

The commission’s stated mission “is to protect and promote the public interest by fostering a securities market that is fair and warrants public confidence, and a dynamic and competitive securities industry that provides investment opportunities and access to capital.”

What does the BC Securities Commission do?

The BCSC monitors all aspects of securities trading by British Columbia based companies and BC based residents. Any business or individual involved in the buying, selling or advising of securities on behalf of another individual in BC must be registered with the commission. 

The BCSC also registers all companies and associated individuals who distribute securities and/or have activities within the province of British Columbia. The British Columbia Securities Commission jurisdiction is not limited to only companies listed on a stock exchange. It regulates both publicly and privately traded securities.

“We make sure that B.C. companies listed on stock markets and investment funds that are publicly distributed provide accurate and complete information about their finances, strategy and operations, so investors can make sound decisions. We require private companies and investment funds to abide by rules on how they raise money and who they raise it from,” BCSC stated.

The overarching mandate of the commission is to protect the integrity of British Columbia’s capital markets through diligent oversight. It performs the following functions:

  • Reviews all information provided by businesses actively raising capital 

  • Reviews applications for registration to sell, buy, manage or advise on securities on behalf of individuals or business

  • Enforces legislation against those who contravene Canadian securities laws 

  • Provides educational resources to investors to protect them and to ensure compliance with securities laws 

BCSC enforcement, funding and jurisdiction 

A significant portion of the BCSC activities relate to enforcement of Canadian securities legislation and laws It takes legal action against any person or organisation involved in illegal distributions or fraud, market manipulation or insider trading and any other non-compliant securities related activities. 

Through this enforcement the commission aims to deter fraud and promote transparency in securities transactions. As with most of the 13 independent securities commissions in Canada, the provisions issued by the BCSC are binding throughout the country, allowing reciprocal penalties or restrictions to be enacted automatically for actions outside individual jurisdictions.  

The BCSC is legally enabled through the Securities Act RSBC 1996, c. 418 and is a self-funded Crown corporation fiscally responsible to the province and the greater Canadian public. 

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