Regulatory Cooperation

Backgrounder

The Government of Canada is taking action and working with provinces and territories, and stakeholders to enhance trade in a number of sectors Canada-wide. These actions will remove regulatory and other barriers in key areas, while continuing to protect Canadians’ health and safety, as well as the environment.

Energy Efficiency Harmonization

There are different standards for the energy efficiency of household appliances across Canada. As a result, manufacturers, retailers and consumers may all incur unnecessary costs. The Government is accelerating amendments to the federal Energy Efficiency Regulations to better align our regulations with the North American market. This will set the stage for provinces and territories to harmonize their respective energy efficiency regulations in order to facilitate interprovincial trade of household appliances.

Aligning energy efficiency standards promotes greater interprovincial and cross-border trade, providing clarity and certainty to industry while further supporting Canadian businesses. Improved energy efficiency standards also mean lower energy costs for Canadian households.

“Product of Canada” Labels

Rules for what can be called “Product of” differ across the country. For example, a jar of pickles made from Canadian-grown cucumbers may be jarred in Canada using Canadian labour. However, if there is too much non-Canadian content such as salt or vinegar in the jar, it cannot be labeled as a "Product of Canada‎.” A producer may choose instead to use an applicable provincial or territorial claim that has a lower content threshold. As a result, the Canadian marketplace could be fragmented into smaller, competing “Product of…” brands.

The Government of Canada, in consultation with industry, will review the criteria for “Product of Canada” claims with a view to greater harmonization across the country. This could help our food industry better produce and promote Canadian products.

Safe Food for Canadians Regulations

Provincial and territorial-inspected facilities that process meat cannot trade inter-provincially unless they meet federal requirements.

On January 15, 2019, the Safe Food for Canadians Act and its Regulations—that set out federal requirements—will come into force, replacing the existing prescriptive regulatory framework. The new Act and Regulations include outcome-based requirements to allow industry flexibility in selecting innovative, cost effective, and appropriate controls to achieve federal food safety outcomes.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is developing a domestic food safety recognition framework, enabling provinces and territories to self-assess against federal requirements to determine if there are any gaps or areas where they may wish to align their food safety systems so as to enable agreements pertaining to the interprovincial trade of meat.

Vodka Regulations

Right now, in order for a spirit to be labelled as “vodka”, it must be produced from grain or potato spirits, be charcoal filtered, and be neutral in taste and character. This limits the ability for distilleries to create innovative vodkas with other ingredients. Modernizing vodka standards will help Canada’s growing distillery sector flourish, and increase trade of spirits in Canada and worldwide.

Modernizing and expanding on vodka standards will mean that an increased amount of products can be labeled as vodka, which can encourage innovation in Canada’s growing distillery sector and allow broader trade of spirits vodka, both within Canada’s borders and across the world.


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