Sudbury Liberal MPP Rick Bartolucci has put forward a private members bill that would tighten up the rules that govern financial advisers in Ontario.

Bartolucci said he’s been approached by people who complain there is no structure when it comes to that industry.

“Even one or two calls — and I’ve had more — but even one or two calls of people who have lost money are calls that I think are worth acting upon,” he said.

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Sudbury MPP Rick Bartolucci.

“When I did some research in all of this, I found out that there is a mishmash of rules, but it covers so many acts. So we’re going to try and bring it all in under on act.”

He said the bill would benefit both advisers and those who use them.

“There is the need to have an act that provides parameters for financial advisers that shows their professionalism [and] protects their professionalism,” Bartolucci said.

“But [it would] also ensure that there is protection for those who seek advice from financial planners.”

Support from industry

Advocis, a national, voluntary association for financial advisers that represents more than 11,000 advisers across the country, calls the act ground breaking.

In a news release, the president and CEO of the association said it’s been championing this type of legislation for more than a decade.

“Doctors, lawyers, engineers, accountants and many other groups are regulated as a profession,” Greg Pollock said.

“It’s time for those who are critical to the financial well-being of so many Ontarians to be regulated as well.”

Even though there is speculation there will be an upcoming election in Ontario, Bartolucci said he’s confident the bill will pass.

“There’s two types of speculation — one is [an election] is going to happen soon, the other speculation is it’s not going to happen,” he said.

“I mean, if you live in speculation, you get nothing done. You’re so busy looking over your shoulder — you hit the wall that’s in front of you. I don’t want to do that.”

If passed, the bill would mean financial advisers would have to be registered. Non-compliant financial advisers would face financial penalties and licence revocation.