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”.


Submitted by Nancy J Coulas on November 03, 2017 - 4:39 PM

Support the views of Bob Larocque at FPAC where we would like to see a review function where stakeholders could discuss departments decisions with Treasury Board to ensure the directive is met.

Submitted by Nancy J Coulas on November 03, 2017 - 4:37 PM

Support that there is more emphasis on regulatory cooperation. Aligning with our core trading partners should be a priority.

Submitted by Nancy Coulas on November 01, 2017 - 2:00 AM

Support the focus on regulatory cooperation. Aligning with key trading partners should be a priority.

Submitted by DraftConsultCDR on November 03, 2017 - 5:39 PM

Hi Nancy, Thank you for your support.

Submitted by J. Babcock, Ca… on October 31, 2017 - 3:38 PM

Regulatory cooperation is very important to the horticulture industry when it comes to our exports/imports. Areas we would like to emphasize: maximum residue limits, phytosanitary measures, labeling, rules of origin, etc. CHC welcomes more alignment with CODEX and encourages the Government of Canada and our trading partners to align regulations with the Commission.

Submitted by DraftConsultCDR on November 03, 2017 - 5:38 PM

Hi J. Badcock, Thank you for your comments and suggestions.

Submitted by Fiona Wallace on October 30, 2017 - 1:40 AM

Regulatory Coordination and Alignment is very important for successful trade, and we would suggest that Canada seek at all opportunities to align with international standards and organisations that it actively participates in: for example- Canada is active in the Codex Alimentarius Commission, yet many food standards and practices are unique to Canada and are not aligned with Codex. Greater alignment with Codex and/or other jurisdictions such as the USA or EU, especially on regulations that will affect food trade would be helpful. Early stakeholder engagement is critical for the long term success of any regulatory endeavour, and a review process to assess the success of new regulatory interventions should be clearly discussed with stakeholders upfront and prior to the regulation being implemented.

Submitted by DraftConsultCDR on November 03, 2017 - 5:37 PM

Hi Fiona, Thank you for your comments and suggestions.

Submitted by Ken Whitehurst… on October 28, 2017 - 7:23 PM

Re-think or rationalize replacement of prescriptive regulations with performance-based regulations. The tendency in past years has been to move away from prescriptive regulations to allow regulated parties more flexibility and innovation in meeting the regulatory objective. In general, this is a good thing. However, business seeks consistency in predictability so the tendency is for regulated parties to check with the regulator to ensure the flexibility or innovation they are proposing actually achieves the intended objective. When regulators respond with legal or staff interpretations, this creates another layer of "grey regulations" or rulings and interpretations. This can work, but two issues need to be addressed 1) the interpretations need to be publicly accessible and 2) the interpretations have the weight of regulations but without Governor in Council approval and oversight. In effect, bureaucrats set grey regulations. There needs to be mechanisms for more transparency and accessibility of in rulings and interpretations and more accountability to the public for those who set them. Regulatory modernization can be enhanced through by greater utilisation of national and international standards and their ambulatory incorporation by reference into regulation. Regulators have access to a balanced matrix of experts who are at the cutting edge of their field and have perspectives based on the current play of the marketplace and technologies. However, utilization of this resource to enhance regulatory efficiencies will only work if the regulators themselves take an active role in participating on the standards committee and, more importantly, sustain an interest and participation after the standards have been published and incorporated by reference. It is also essential that the regulated parties in particular, and the public in general, have free and open access to these standards and the capacity and access to participate in their development, and that there is a degree of oversight that is at least equal to the oversight required for normal Governor in Council regulations. Milestone dates for public processes should be available as public calendar information in the open standard, iCalendar format, so users can define and subscribe to criteria based milestone event feeds or individual milestone events for mobilization through personal or organizational calendaring systems. It’s easier to track when an NHL game fits into one’s personal or business calendar than the much more important business of the government. Virtually every citizen today is or can obtain access to and use iCalendar compliant calendars in their personal and business lives. Quality calendarization of important milestones would empower stakeholders and interests within the government to better engage public processes. The amount of manual work that individuals or stakeholder organizations like our own must do to be attentive to government milestone information is far greater than it needs to be or should be today. Also, the failure to use a modern system for calendaring prevents the mobilization of this information. The government should make the assumption that the propagation of public milestone information has a cost. Notice advertising has been a feature of government communications about important opportunities for public engagement, in addition to making use of the Canada Gazette. The Government of Canada should financially support the non-partisan redistribution of milestone information to the public, by way of iCalendar compliant public calendars as a way to deepen public awareness, and in particular work with Canadian organizations committed solely to delivering public interest content to Canadians without cross subsidy of other communication businesses. Consumer groups would be able to better self-identify their interest in the proceedings of government if such public calendarization of government milestones was in place in a way that it could be accessed and mobilized through standards-based IT. The government’s current methods of communicating milestone information is labour intensive to manage, both upon announcement and for change management purposes. The Consumers Council of Canada already offers a means to mobilize milestone information publicly. See: https://www.consumerscouncil.com/consumer-agenda

Submitted by DraftConsultCDR on November 03, 2017 - 5:35 PM

Hi Ken, Thank you for your comments and suggestions.

Submitted by Bob larocque on October 24, 2017 - 1:23 PM

FPAC supports the current regulatory development process but would like to see Treasury Board having a review function where stakeholders could discuss departments decision with Treasury Board to ensure the directive is met. there has been instances where departments jump directly to regulations instead of other instruments as suggested by the directive

Submitted by DraftConsultCDR on November 03, 2017 - 5:33 PM

Hi Bob, Thank you for your comments and suggestions.

Submitted by DraftConsultCDR on October 13, 2017 - 7:42 PM

Hi Stuart, Thank you for your comment, which will be taken into account as we finalize the draft CDR. The current draft highlights the importance of Departments/Agencies conducting early and comprehensive consultations in order to understand the views of stakeholders. This may include identifying other jurisdictions with which Canada could align regulatory approaches in a manner that improves the health, safety, security, social and economic well-being of Canadians, and the environment. The draft Directive is not intended to restrict Departments / Agencies to assessing alignment only with key trading partners. If there is a good rationale for aligning with another jurisdiction to protect the health, safety, security, social and economic well-being of Canadians, and the environment, Departments / Agencies are encouraged to seek out and assess these opportunities, even if the result may increase the burden placed on business.  

Submitted by Stuart Trew on October 12, 2017 - 7:08 PM

It seems this new regulatory directive, as past versions, over-emphasizes the burden on business as a trigger for cooperation activities, and does not mention the possibility of cooperating with whomever (not just important trade partners) to harmonize "upwards," or in a way that increases precaution, even if the result is added costs to business. North American chemicals makers, for example, may prefer that Canada cooperate on regulations with the U.S., but it may be in the public interest that Canada harmonizes with the EU if it means less exposure to toxics in consumer goods and food products.