Canada’s Centre for Regulatory Innovation


The Centre for Regulatory Innovation is a commitment the Government made in the 2018 Fall Economic Statement to promote a whole-of-government approach to regulatory experimentation to support innovation and competitiveness. It helps the regulatory system keep pace with technological advances by providing regulators with guidance, new tools and other resources.

In addition to providing expert advisory services to federal regulators, the Centre is also developing a regulator's toolkit to support departments in developing and conducting regulatory experiments, like testing pilots and controlled sandboxes.

The Centre is responsible for the management and administration of two internal funds:

  1. The Regulatory Experimentation Expense Fund provides funds to regulators in order to offset expenses related to regulatory experimentation
  2. The Regulators’ Capacity Fund provides funds to regulators for projects that improve their capacity to incorporate economic and competitiveness considerations in the design and implementation of regulations. 

The Regulatory Experimentation Expense Fund

Canadian federal regulators, such as departments, agencies and organizations, may apply for funding. Priority is given to experiments where regulators have identified collaboration with businesses that would support industry in bringing applications of new and emerging technologies into the Canadian marketplace or support competitiveness.

The first call-out for the Regulatory Experimentation Expense Fund was launched in February 2020. Three projects from ISED, ECCC, and the Competition Bureau received a total of approximately $900,000 of funding for experiments ranging from one to two years in length.

The second call out started on November 18, 2020.

The Regulators’ Capacity Fund

The Centre is currently supporting 14 projects from regulatory departments (i.e. ISED, ECCC, TC, CHRC, CFR, CNSC, and NRCan) under the Regulators’ Capacity Fund that either implement identified solutions or enhance the understanding of the regulatory context and identify potential solutions. The projects range in length from one to two years and the total funding to support the projects is approximately $6.9 million.

The final call out for this fund will launch on December 9 for projects beginning in April 2021. The fund will sunset in March 2022.

Current modernization and burden reduction initiatives:

Targeted Regulatory Reviews:

The Government of Canada is undertaking targeted regulatory reviews to reduce barriers to economic growth and competitiveness, and to advance novel regulatory approaches to support innovation.

The second round of Regulatory Reviews are focussed on the clean technology sector, digitalization and technology neutrality, and international standards in regulations. Work is underway on a suite of actions, as listed in the Regulatory Roadmaps to support regulatory modernization in these three areas.

Regulatory roadmaps for the first round of reviews on agri-food and aquaculture, health and bio-sciences, transportation, and infrastructure are currently posted on departmental websites.

The External Advisory Committee on Regulatory Competitiveness:

The External Advisory Committee on Regulatory Competitiveness (EACRC) serves as an interface between government, industry, consumer representatives, and academics in support of regulatory modernization. 

The EACRC’s overarching mandate is to advise Treasury Board on how to improve regulatory competitiveness in Canada to support the modernization of Canada’s regulatory system into one that enables investment and catalyzes innovation.

The Committee was formed in May 2019. It has delivered two letters to the President of the Treasury Board in which it makes recommendations.

Meetings organized for spring 2020 were postponed due to COVID-19. The Committee resumed its business in September and is expected to deliver more advice to the President of the Treasury Board before the end of its mandate, in March 2021. 

The Review of the Red Tape Reduction Act:

In April 2020, the President of the Treasury Board initiated the review of the Red Tape Reduction Act, which was implemented in 2015 with a statutory requirement for review after five years. TBS officials are currently undertaking the review.

The review will draw on the feedback stakeholders provided during consultations held before the pandemic. The input received from stakeholders before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic may not fully reflect any evolution in their positions. For this reason, stakeholders will be invited to provide any additional insights they may wish to contribute.

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