The Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) on Friday welcomed the passage of Alberta's legislation that gives the self-regulatory organization enhanced investigative powers.

The new legal tools give IIROC the ability to compel witnesses to give evidence and produce documents, along with immunity from civil suits for IIROC staff acting in good faith.

The bill has received royal assent, meaning its provisions are now in effect.

"Today Alberta becomes the first province in Canada to provide IIROC with all the legal tools necessary to truly carry out the responsibilities we have been assigned as a public interest regulator," says Andrew Kriegler, president and CEO, IIROC, in a statement.

Alberta was also the first province to give it the ability to enforce its disciplinary fines through the courts, IIROC notes.

Recently, Ontario adopted provisions to allow SROs, including both IIROC and the Mutual Fund Dealers Association of Canada to enforce their sanctions in court. Quebec and Prince Edward Island have also given IIROC this power.

In the wake of Alberta's move to bolster IIROC's enforcement authority, the SRO is "actively seeking similar legal authority in all other jurisdictions across Canada," IIROC says.