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Annual Regulatory Modernization Bill: Keeping pace with change

Simplifying regulatory processes

The Government of Canada (the Government) is seeking your input on ways to improve how the regulatory system keeps pace with rapid innovation and evolving regulatory environments while maintaining protections for Canadians’ health and safety, security, and for the environment. Outdated regulatory requirements misaligned with other jurisdictions and changing market needs create barriers for business trying to comply and innovate. Processes for changing rules are time-consuming and prolong these barriers while taking up valuable resources. This leads to missed opportunities for increased efficiency and innovation.

What are we exploring?

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, some regulators used streamlined processes for making routine and common-sense changes to rules more quickly or created tailored regulatory approaches to safely bring new products to market. These agile approaches were necessary in order to quickly respond to the public health crisis, which contributed to the government-response in saving lives and allowing Canadian industries to adapt to the new environment. To allow all regulators to take advantage of these best practises that were implemented during the pandemic, the Government is exploring the possibility to grant all federal regulatory organizations the authority to:

  1. Set up regulatory sandboxes by allowing the testing of new regulatory approaches that provide flexibility from current requirements; and

  2. Incorporate by reference internal government documents by allowing specific, often technical, documents to have the same force of law as regulations, without the need to make regulatory changes each time the document is updated.

Why are we exploring these approaches?

Some federal organizations have already obtained these authorities and have been using them successfully. However, since the approach is inconsistent, not all regulators or industries can benefit from them. Creating a cohesive approach for the entire Government will increase agility and the ability to respond quickly to changes in the environment while ensuring that the most current and relevant rules are in place, which will save resources and time for both stakeholders and the Government.

How could these changes be implemented?

The Annual Regulatory Modernization Bill(External link) (ARMB) initiative allows the Government to address overly complicated, inconsistent or outdated federal requirements, as identified by businesses, Canadians and government bodies. Over time, legislation can become outdated and result in barriers to innovation and growth. Updating legislation can help modernize the regulatory system and improves Canada's ability to attract investment and growth-oriented businesses.

The first ARMB was included in the Budget Implementation Act, 2019, No. 1, and modified 12 pieces of legislation to make common-sense changes that, for example: digitalized paper-based processes, promoted innovation by allowing exemptions from certain regulatory requirements to test new products, and made changes in consideration of zero-emission vehicles.

The second ARMB, Bill S-6, An Act respecting regulatory modernization, was introduced in Parliament on March 31, 2022, proposing 45 amendments to 28 pieces of legislation. For example, S-6 proposes to facilitate digital interactions between stakeholders and the Government, introduces exemptions from certain regulatory requirements for the testing of new products, and promotes cross-border trade by establishing more consistent and coherent rules across jurisdictions.

The Government is seeking your input on the two ideas to grant federal organizations the ability to set up regulatory sandboxes and incorporate by reference internal government documents as well as other legislative changes that would improve Canada’s regulatory environment.

Share your thoughts

Through this consultation, the Government seeks your input on the above two ideas as well as any other legislative changes that could be suitable for future versions of the ARMB.

To get more information and provide comments on the incorporation by reference authority and criteria being explored, please visit the incorporation by reference of internal documents page.

To get more information and provide comments on the regulatory sandbox authority and criteria being explored, please visit the regulatory sandboxes page.

For more information on the legislative nature of the ARMB and to submit your specific suggestions, please visit the potential ARMB amendments page.

Who should participate

We are seeking input from Canadian organizations and individuals from all sectors of society to ensure that the ARMB and its legislative proposals respond to the most relevant needs of all Canadians.

How to participate

Please provide your feedback by June 19, 2023.

Sharing your views using this platform provides an opportunity to engage in conversation with others, however, if you prefer to share your views using email, please feel free to email us at link).

We may follow up with you to explore your input in more detail and may share your comments with other teams, departments, or governments, where relevant. Input received that falls outside of the scope of this consultation will be shared with the relevant regulator(s) for their information.

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