Three parties' views on financial services unveiled as Ontario election campaigns kick off
TORONTO---The three parties represented in the Ontario Legislature have all expressed strong support for a national securities regulator headquartered in Toronto and, for the first time, all agree that the federal government should be asked to review the treatment of HST with regard to financial products. These are just two of the topics addressed during an all candidates debate on issues of importance to the financial services industry that was arranged by the Toronto Financial Services Alliance (TFSA).
Today, as the 2011 Ontario election campaign begins, the TFSA has made available for viewing on its website the entire proceedings of the 90-minute debate. Recorded last week, the debate attracted 150 members of Toronto's financial services community, including the senior executives of eight of TFSA's member associations.
Representing the three parties were:
the Liberal government's Minister of Economic Development and Trade, Sandra Pupatello;
Rocco Rossi, the Ontario PC Party candidate for Eglinton - Lawrence; and
Beaches - East York MPP Michael Prue, the former Ontario New Democratic Party finance critic.
The strong interest in the debate - which necessitated relocation to a bigger venue - underlines the importance of financial services to the economy. "There is a strong appreciation among all the parties of the role our Canadian financial services industry has played over recent years," said TFSA president Janet Ecker, who moderated the debate. "The industry is a steady source of good, well paying jobs, and our industry wants to be sure that all the parties recognize that we need to maintain the sector's international competitiveness."
In the first round of questioning, the party representatives addressed issues raised by the Association of Canadian Pension Management, the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association, the Canadian Bankers Association, Certified General Accountants of Ontario, Insurance Bureau of Canada, the Investment Funds Institute of Canada, the Investment Industry Association of Canada, and the TFSA. After that, the debate was opened to questions from the floor.
"This was our second pre-election debate," said Ms. Ecker, "and, to judge by the response, it is going to become a tradition. Our members find it a great way to size up the parties on issues that matter."