External Advisory Committee on Regulatory Competitiveness: Meeting summaries for May 10 and 22, 2019

Meeting Summary for May 10, 2019

Meeting objectives

  • To discuss how the Committee will implement its mandate to improve regulatory competitiveness in Canada and support the modernization of Canada’s regulatory system
  • To consider the second round of Regulatory Reviews

Participants: Laura Jones (Chair), Catherine Beaudry, Stewart Elgie, Ginny Flood, Anne Fowlie, Don Mercer, Keith Mussar

Regrets: Nancy Olewiler

Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat: Erin O’Gorman, Tina Green, Jeannine Ritchot, Kyle Burns, Lindsay Wild, Claire Penny, Ian Allan, Allison Krogh

Introductory remarks

The Chair welcomed Committee members to their first meeting and highlighted the important role of this new body.

Visioning session

Members participated in a visioning session to identify themes that will guide the work of the Committee, including:

  • further improving the culture between government and stakeholders
  • building trust by having all relevant perspectives in the room, focusing on evidence, and drawing from the best regulatory practices both domestically and internationally
  • simplifying processes while pursuing regulatory excellence
  • recognizing the interconnections between regulatory issues and promoting collaborative solutions
  • examining the issue of the cumulative impact of regulations across jurisdictions

Proposed sectors and themes for the second round of Regulatory Reviews

The Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat presented an overview of the targeted Regulatory Reviews, including:

  • objectives, outcomes and lessons learned from the first round of reviews
  • criteria used for identifying potential sectors and themes
  • summaries of the potential sectors and themes for the next round of reviews based on stakeholder feedback, recommendations from the Economic Strategy Tables, and departmental input

Working lunch

John Knubley, Deputy Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED), and Lorraine Mitchelmore, former CEO of Enlighten Innovations, and Chair of the Resource of the Future Economic Strategy Table, situated the Committee’s work within broader Government of Canada initiatives to advance economic growth and innovation. The Committee was encouraged to focus on:

  • regulations as an enabler of innovation and economic growth
  • improving efficiency and effectiveness with better risk management
  • aligning with global best practices
  • embedding a collaborative approach between industry, academics and regulators
  • making regulatory excellence a competitive advantage for Canada

Overview and lessons learned from the first round of sectoral reviews

The Deputy Ministers of Health Canada and Transport Canada, as well as the President of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, shared their perspectives on the first round of Regulatory Reviews with the Committee. Key points raised included:

  • Regulatory Reviews require clear scoping, considerable effort and coordination to ensure positive outcomes
  • focused efforts can identify greater use of risk-based approaches, identify tools to drive innovation, and design agile regulatory frameworks that can keep pace with changing technology and the economy

Second round of Regulatory Reviews

Members identified three areas that they would recommend for the next round of Regulatory Reviews:

  • digitalization and technology-neutral regulations
  • clean technology
  • international standards

Members noted that as the sectors and themes are broad, they will each need to be scoped appropriately in order to address stakeholder issues and identify tangible solutions.

Follow-Up Meeting Summary for May 22, 2019

Meeting objectives

  • Committee agrees to a proposed list of recommendations on sectors or themes for the second round of Regulatory Reviews
  • Committee provides feedback on a draft of the letter to the President of the Treasury Board
  • Committee provides feedback on the agenda for the next in-person meeting

Participants: Laura Jones (Chair), Catherine Beaudry, Stewart Elgie, Ginny Flood, Anne Fowlie, Don Mercer, Keith Mussar

Regrets: Nancy Olewiler

Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat: Jeannine Ritchot, Kyle Burns, Lindsay Wild, Claire Penny, Ian Allan, Allison Krogh, Hélène Lowell, Christopher Lee

Introduction and roundtable

Members were pleased with the diversity of perspectives expressed at their first meeting on May 10, 2019, and confirmed their commitment to considering the interests and expectations of all members in their deliberations.

Draft letter to the President

Members came to consensus on recommending three sectors and themes for the next round of Regulatory Reviews, which are digitalization and technology-neutral regulations, clean technology, and international standards. In coming to consensus on the sectors and themes, members noted:

  • digitalization could provide opportunities to modernize and simplify regulatory interactions to the benefit of all Canadians
  • clean technology should include clean innovation, competitiveness and demand for new regulatory technologies
  • an international standards review is an opportunity for Canada to advance its strategic leadership in the development of such standards
  • the following themes would be included in the letter: culture change, regulatory excellence, transparency and trust, inclusiveness, a systems approach, and overlapping regulations

Next steps

  • The Chair will update the letter and seek members’ final review and approval.
  • The next scheduled meeting will be June 25 and 26, 2019, and will focus on competitiveness.
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