4.0 The Regulatory lifecycle approach


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Notice to Readers

The consultation period on this draft has now closed. We are considering all input when finalizing the draft Cabinet Directive on Regulation. Thank you for your participation.

The regulatory lifecycle approach requires departments and agencies to examine and analyze regulations through all stages of the lifecycle, including: the development of regulations (section 5.0); regulatory management (section 6.0); and, review and results (section 7.0).

During all stages of the lifecycle, regulators must seek opportunities to engage Indigenous people and stakeholders; pursue regulatory cooperation and regulatory alignment, where appropriate; and, coordinate across all levels of government to minimize cumulative and unintended impacts of regulations on Canadians, business, and the economy.

4.1 Consultations and EngagementFootnote 1

4.1.1 Stakeholder engagement

Departments and agencies are responsible for identifying impacted stakeholders, Indigenous people and meaningfully consulting and engaging with them throughout the development, management, and review of regulations. In doing so, they should follow the Government of Canada’s policies and guidance for consultation and engagement.

Departments and agencies should seek opportunities to use modern, digital, accessible and secure platforms and tools for consultation and / or engagement. Communication tools should support meaningful and inclusive consultation and/or engagement, with consideration given to any limitations on accessibility for stakeholders and Indigenous peoples. Departments and agencies must follow the requirements for digital government and communication as set out in Treasury Board policies and directives: Policy on Communication, Policy on Federal Identity and the Policy on Official Languages.

4.1.2 Consultations with Aboriginal PeoplesFootnote 2

If Aboriginal peoples may be impacted by any proposed regulation, departments and agencies must provide reasonable assurance that all obligations in relation to rights protected by section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982, and international human rights obligations are met.

In addition, when considering conduct that might adversely impact potential or established Aboriginal or treaty rights, departments and agencies shall meet the Crown’s duty to consult and, accommodate.

Departments and agencies shall also ensure that the Government of Canada respects any consultation obligations or processes such as those set out in modern treaties, throughout the regulatory process.

4.2 Regulatory cooperation and regulatory alignment

Departments and agencies will assess opportunities for cooperating with other jurisdictions, domestically and internationally, on regulations and associated regulatory activities. This includes assessing the feasibility of aligning regulatory approaches and/or outcomes with key trading partners, in order to reduce the regulatory burden on Canadian business, while maintaining or improving the health, safety, security, social and economic well-being of Canadians, and the environment.

Regulatory cooperation is a process to find efficiencies across jurisdictions and reduce unnecessary regulatory differences, achieving domestic policy goals while aiming to facilitate trade and investment, promote economic growth and job creation, and increase consumer choice. A central pillar of regulatory cooperation is the maintenance or enhancement of standards of public health and safety and environmental protection. 

Regulatory alignment occurs when there is any agreement or arrangement, formal or informal, which reduces or eliminates differences between independent regulatory systems and/or regulatory activities, including inspections, certification, standards, and product and testing approvals.

4.3 Coordination

Departments and agencies are responsible for working with each other to coordinate regulatory efforts within the Government of Canada including engagement / consultation with stakeholders and Indigenous peoples.

Departments and agencies should examine ways to reduce regulatory duplication, promote efficiencies, and share relevant information to support the consideration of the cumulative impacts of regulations on stakeholders and reduce reporting and other administrative burdens where possible.

Q1: In this proposed policy update, during the regulatory development process, we put emphasis on considering regulatory cooperation where possible. Are there any requirements missing? Please explain and provide suggestions for improvement.

For more information, please refer to section 4.2 “Regulatory Cooperation and Regulatory Alignment” and section 5.1 “Determination of Regulatory Approach”.

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