www.lexisnexis.ca Vol. 32, No. 9 August 2016
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Stunning Brexit vote leaves stakeholders to weigh options

British voters shocked the international community and sent stock markets into a downward spiral after voting 52-48 per cent to leave the European Union in the Brexit referendum. Now, it seems just about everybody is uncertain about what will happen next, or even if the United Kingdom will actually leave the EU on the basis of this advisory, non-legally binding referendum.

“All this uncertainty going forward right now is negative for financial markets, and definitely negative for the economic outlook,” said Jennifer Lee, director and senior economist with BMO Capital Markets in Toronto.

That negative outlook may cause some international firms with branch offices in the U.K. to reconsider their business strategy and locate elsewhere.

Ontario budget projections give experts concern

Ontario is within grasp of its goal of a balanced budget by fiscal 2017-18, says the province’s independent financial watchdog. But the Financial Accountability Office of Ontario (FAO) also warned that Ontario may be in danger of slipping right back into deficit in the face of significant global and national risks on the horizon.

“Beyond 2017-18, as revenue growth remains moderate, but spending pressures build, the FAO projects a gradual deterioration in the province’s budget balance, with a deficit of $1.7 billion by 2020-21,” said the FAO’s Economic and Fiscal Outlook Spring 2016 report.

The situation could even get worse, warned the FAO.

Canada’s securities regulators have proposed a series of wide-ranging regulatory initiatives that would have far-reaching effects on almost every aspect of business conducted by securities dealers and advisers and their registered representatives, according to investment experts and securities lawyers.

The Canadian Securities Administrators, the umbrella group for Canada’s provincial securities commissions, recently published a long-awaited consultation paper that asserts the “status quo must change,” and is proposing two distinct categories of changes that will significantly affect the business model of registrants and drive up compliance costs, experts say.

After their fifth review of the structure and effectiveness of the IFRS Foundation, its trustees have proposed nine improvements to its constitution — including enhanced governance and funding arrangements — which they hope will help the foundation carry out its responsibilities well into the future. But current events may have put their plans into jeopardy.

Michel Prada, who chairs the trustees, said June 10 in a statement released with the results of the review, that this latest effort “has provided a good opportunity to ensure that we are continually refining and evolving the work of the organization. The changes announced today enhance the institutional underpinnings of the IFRS Foundation and equip it to further develop its capability as the world’s accounting standard-setter.”