Introduction of Bill S–6, An Act respecting regulatory modernization

Backgrounder

In the 2018 Fall Economic Statement, the Government of Canada introduced a requirement to ensure that Canada’s regulatory system continues to adapt to changing technologies and reflects the realities of Canadian businesses. 

By seeking Parliament’s approval for regular, common-sense updates to existing regulations, the Government continues to facilitate innovation and business competitiveness, while continuing to protect Canadians’ health, safety, and the environment.

Previously, the Budget Implementation Act, 2019, No 1 included a regulatory modernization component that modified 12 pieces of legislation and included changes to digitalize paper-based processes, enable innovation through regulatory sandboxes by allowing exemptions from certain regulatory requirements to test new products, and make changes in consideration of zero-emission vehicles.

If passed by Parliament, many of the proposed amendments stemming from Bill S–6 would reduce administrative burden for business, facilitate digital interactions with government, simplify regulatory processes, make exemptions from certain regulatory requirements to test new products, and make cross-border trade easier through more consistent and coherent rules across governments.

Some examples of proposed changes in Bill S–6 include:

  • Changes to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency Act would allow CFIA to deliver services and businesses to interact with CFIA through electronic means rather than having to rely solely on paper-based transactions. This change would reduce administrative burden for businesses and allow them greater flexibility in their interactions with government.
  • Amendments to the Canada Transportation Act would enable new mechanisms to be used to more quickly integrate regulatory changes stemming from updates to international transportation safety standards. This would ensure that our transportation sectors meet the most up-to-date safety standards and keep pace with changes in technology and innovation.
  • Changes to the Department of Citizenship and Immigration Act would enable information-sharing to help administer any federal or provincial law for permanent and temporary residents. This would support collaboration between federal departments, provinces, and territories, and improve the client experience.

Bill S–6 proposes 46 changes to 29 acts that are administered by the following 12 organizations:

  • Canadian Food Inspection Agency
  • Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada
  • Natural Resources Canada
  • Environment and Climate Change Canada
  • Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada
  • Fisheries and Oceans Canada
  • Canada Border Services Agency
  • Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
  • Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada
  • Health Canada
  • Transport Canada
  • Parks Canada

Once the bill receives Royal Assent, each responsible minister would begin implementing the Act. The proposed legislative changes will require amendments to regulations, as well as changes to policy and guidance instruments.

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