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External Advisory Committee on Smart Regulation (EACSR)

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EACSR Backgrounder

The External Advisory Committee and Its Mandate

The government established the External Advisory Committee on Smart Regulation (EACSR) in May 2003. The Committee and its Chair, Mr. Gaëtan Lussier, were asked to provide external advice to the federal government on how it could redesign its regulatory system to better serve the needs of Canadians and Canada in the 21st century. The Committee was given a 12-15 month mandate to study and review the regulatory system and make recommendations.

It was asked to propose ways to improve and modernize the regulatory system in light of evolving needs, demands and challenges of the 21st century and to identify priority areas for government action. The Committee was asked to provide advice on how to transform Canada's regulatory system to better protect the health and safety of Canadians and Canada's natural environment within a regulatory system that support an innovative and dynamic economy.

The External Advisory Committee's mandate had three elements:

  • To develop a regulatory strategy designed for the 21st century, supporting Canada as a sovereign trading nation that offers a high quality of life for its citizens;
  • To identify sectors and areas requiring regulatory reform in order to give Canada a strategic advantage; and
  • To review and provide an external perspective on specific issues identified by departments and stakeholders.

The Committee conducted its work and provided its recommendations as an external advisory body. Members were appointed based on their knowledge of regulatory issues and their commitment to advancing the public interest (Biographies on the Committee members can be found at the end of this document.) When reviewing Canada's regulatory system, the Committee consulted and received the views from citizens and non-governmental organizations, business associations and researchers as well as from federal, provincial and territorial government officials. The Committee submitted its report Smart Regulation: A Regulatory Strategy for Canada to the Prime Minister on September 20th, 2004.

Highlights from the Committee's Report to the Government of Canada

In the past, Canada's regulatory system served us well, but the External Advisory Committee has found that today's environment of rapid change, evolving global markets and high citizen expectations signals a need for change.

Smart Regulation is about finding better, more effective ways to provide a high level of protection to Canadians, promote the transition to sustainable development and foster an economic climate that is dynamic and conducive to innovation and investment. It must exist in a system that sets clear policy objectives and is transparent and predictable - one that builds public trust in the quality of Canadian regulation and the integrity of the process. The recommendations contained in Smart Regulation: A Regulatory Strategy for Canada provide guidance on how to achieve these goals.

Cooperation among the federal, provincial and territorial governments and between government and its business and non-governmental stakeholders is at the heart of the Committee's proposed new regulatory strategy for Canada. Cooperation anchors the Report's vision and principles and underlies many of its recommendations. The Committee also believes that the federal government must use regulation more strategically in the 21st century to advance Canadian interests and national priorities. The way we regulate should be clearly seen to support government policies.

The Committee's Report contains two sections. Part I proposes a new regulatory strategy for the 21st century. A highlight of some of the key recommendations in this section is as follows:

  • International Regulatory Cooperation - The federal government should include international regulatory cooperation as a distinct component of Canadian foreign policy. The primary and immediate focus of international regulatory efforts should be North America. The government should adopt international approaches wherever possible and limit specific Canadian regulatory requirements to where they are needed to support an important national priority, Constitutional values or unique Canadian circumstances.

  • Federal-Provincial-Territorial Regulatory Cooperation - The federal government should pay urgent attention to creating a more seamless regulatory environment in Canada. Cooperation should be formalized in a discussion by First Ministers. A new joint arrangement between federal, provincial and territorial governments should be established that focuses on key priorities, beginning with the process for environmental assessments.

  • Federal Regulatory Cooperation - Better coordination among federal departments and agencies is essential. To provide more effective coordinated regulatory intervention, the government should establish the necessary mechanisms to support interdepartmental discussion and foster the development of government-wide regulatory positions. The creation of overarching strategic frameworks with clearly stated policy objectives would facilitate coherent and integrated regulatory action in advancing government priorities.

  • Risk Management - The federal government should develop a government-wide approach to risk prioritization, risk assessment, and risk communication.

  • Instruments for Government Action - The federal government should develop a framework to guide the design and use of instruments. Legislative constraints on creating mixes of policy instruments and using performance-based regulations should be eliminated. In addition, the government should examine expanding the appropriate use of economic instruments.

  • The Regulatory Process - The federal government should give priority to developing a new federal Regulatory Policy. It should also develop performance measurement and compliance and enforcement plans for new regulation. The government should devise approaches for the more timely development of regulation. It should improve its consultation practices. Independent recourse mechanisms need to be put in place to provide an opportunity to stakeholders to challenge regulatory performance and decisions. Task teams for industry sectors or regulatory areas should be established to lead regulatory reform processes.

  • Government Capacity - The federal government should develop measures to support a regulatory cultural change within government through comprehensive learning strategies for the regulatory community and the implementation of regulatory policy research and development agendas.

Building on the analysis and recommendations outlined in the strategy in Part I of the Report, Part II demonstrates how Smart Regulation can be applied to specific case studies. A highlight of some of the key recommendations in Part II is as follows:

  • Manufacturing and Product Approval - The government should work with stakeholders to develop an inventory of regulatory differences, in particular between Canada and the United States, and align regulatory requirements in cases where differences are not warranted. In addition, it should develop a comprehensive automotive policy framework in order to coordinate domestic automotive regulatory roles and objectives. With regard to the drug approval process, the government should review Canada's international cooperation framework for the regulation of therapeutics to achieve a level of performance reflecting international best practices.

  • Biotechnology/Life Sciences - The government should develop and implement a comprehensive biotechnology regulatory strategy to provide a more coherent government-wide approach. The government should address legislative gaps and review relevant legislation regularly to ensure that it remains appropriate. The government should implement a new approach to engage all stakeholders on policy issues with respect to biotechnology.

  • Enabling First Nations Economic Development - The federal government should accelerate its agenda to modernize the regulatory regime in First Nations communities and address regulatory gaps that inhibit the development of commercial and industrial projects on reserve land. The government should reduce the regulatory and administrative burden on First Nations communities.

  • The Environmental Assessment Process - The federal government should begin discussions with provincial and territorial governments to develop a national integrated environmental assessment process for Canada.

  • Oil and Gas Exploration and Development - The federal government should build upon the Mackenzie Gas Pipeline Cooperation Plan in order to create a regulatory cooperation framework among northern regulators that offers timeliness, transparency, predictability, clarity and certainty. A single window approach should be implemented to coordinate federal regulatory involvement in the North. An overarching policy framework for offshore oil and gas should be established to guide federal interaction with industry and other stakeholders. The government should ensure that regulations developed under the Oceans Act are established in collaboration with other jurisdictions and stakeholders.

For more information or to access the Smart Regulation: A Strategy for Canada, please see the External Advisory Committee's web site at:

Media Contact:
France Pégeot,
Executive Director
(613) 944-5778

Committee Members

Gaétan Lussier, Chair of the EACSR, serves as a Director or member of a number of corporate boards and not-for-profit associations. From 1994 to 1999, Mr. Lussier was President and Chief Executive Officer of Culinar Inc., and was President of Weston Bakeries Quebec from 1988 to 1994. In addition to his executive level experience in the private sector, Mr. Lussier enjoyed a long and influential career as a senior public servant with both the Government of Canada and the Government of Quebec. Mr. Lussier was appointed Deputy Minister of Agriculture for the Government of Quebec in 1971. Mr. Lussier was Deputy Minister of Agriculture Canada and of Employment and Immigration Canada, as well as President of the Unemployment Insurance Commission. A recipient of the Order of Canada (1981), Mr. Lussier has received numerous other honours, including an honourary doctorate in agricultural sciences from McGill University (1979), and the Ordre du Mérite Agronomique de l'Ordre des Agronomes du Québec (1977).

Rita Burak is the Chair of the Board of Hydro One Inc. Prior to this she held a number of senior positions during her 30 year career in the Ontario Public Service including Secretary of the Cabinet and Clerk of the Executive Council, and Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. Ms. Burak is also a member of the Board of the Equitable Life Insurance Company of Canada, and a Partner in The Network Executive Team, Management Consultants, Inc. Her volunteer work includes: The University of Guelph (Vice Chair) and the University Health Network Board of Trustees. Rita Burak holds a B.A. in Political Science from York University, and is the 2001 recipient of the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario's Medal of Distinction in Public Administration. She is also a member of the Order of Ontario.

Bernd S. Christmas is Chief Executive Officer and General Counsel of Membertou Band and President and Chief Executive Officer of the Membertou Development Corporation. Previously, he practiced law with Lang Michener where he implemented the firm's aboriginal law practice group and specialized in Corporate/Commercial and Aboriginal law. He served on a number of boards and advisory bodies including, the Board of Governors for Nova Scotia Community College, Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business and was a past director of Aboriginal Legal Service of Toronto and the Ministerial Advisory Committee for Amendments to the Indian Act. Mr. Christmas, who is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Nova Scotia Barristers' Society and the Indigenous Bar Association, received his law degree from Osgoode Hall Law School, York University.

Dr. Robert B. Church is Professor Emeritus, Faculty of Medicine, University of Calgary. He also owns and operates the Lochend Luing Ranch in Alberta and is President of Church Livestock Consultants. Dr. Church's research has focussed on developmental genetics, genome organization and gene expression. He has published widely and has been invited to present his findings at numerous international conferences. Dr. Church has been a consultant on medical technologies, biotechnology, embryo manipulation and livestock management. He currently serves as Chairman of the Board of the Canadian Science & Technology Growth Fund Inc., Chairman of the Alberta Science and Research Authority and as Director of AVAC Ltd., CV Technologies Inc. and PENCE (Protein Engineering National Centres of Excellence). Dr. Church has received many awards and honorary degrees, including the Order of Canada and an LL.D. from the University of Lethbridge.

Richard Drouin is current Chairman of the North American Electric Reliability Council. He is also Chairman of Abitibi Consolidated and Stelco Inc. Previously, he was the Chairman and CEO of Hydro-Québec. Mr. Drouin sits on numerous boards including American Superconductor Corporation, Gesca (French daily newspapers), Provigo, Nstein Technologies and the Sustainable Technologies Foundation of Canada. He is a Fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society and Chairman of the Board of l'Université Laval. He received his law degree from l'Université Laval in Quebec City. He is an Honorary Consul for Great Britain in Québec.

Scott H. Jacobs is Managing Director of Jacobs and Associates, an international American/European/Asian consulting firm specializing in regulatory reform. He is among the leading international experts working in the area of regulatory reform. Working with 30 countries, he developed and directed the Program on Regulatory Reform in the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) from 1995 to 2001. At the OECD, he wrote the first international standard on regulatory quality and led multi-disciplinary teams into numerous countries to produce influential country reviews of regulatory practices, together with policy options for improving regulatory and economic performance. His work in regulatory reform began in 1985 in the U.S. Office of Management and Budget in the Office of the President. He is widely published and has spoken at conferences worldwide. He received his graduate degree from Princeton University.

Louise Rozon has been with Option Consommateurs since 1985 and in 1989 was appointed Director. Ms. Rozon is a member of la Commission de l'éthique de la science et de la technologie. She is also a member of the Board of Directors for the Office of Consumer Protection and for the magazine Protégez-Vous. Ms. Rozon has been a member of a working group that examined disciplinary processes in l'Office des professions du Québec. She has served on many other organizations related to consumer protection within the Province of Quebec. She has participated as a panelist at many conferences and the media often seeks her views. Ms. Rozon obtained a degree from Université de Montréal in social services as well as a degree from the Université de Québec à Montréal in legal sciences. She became a member of the Quebec Bar in 1999.

John David Runnalls is President of the International Institute of Sustainable Development and also serves as Co-Chair of the China Council Working Group on Environment and Trade. Mr. Runnalls has served as Senior Advisor to the President of the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) in Ottawa, and to the Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme. Previously, Mr. Runnalls was Director of the Environment and Sustainable Development Programme at the Institute for Research on Public Policy in Ottawa. He worked with Barbara Ward to found the International Institute for Environment and Development and directed both its London and Washington offices. Mr. Runnalls was the Canadian Board member of IUCN-the World Conservation Union for six years and the Chair of the Committee for the World Conservation Congress in 1996. He is a member of the Boards of the World Environment Center (New York), IIED (London) and Pollution Probe (Toronto). He received his B.A. from the University of Toronto in 1966 and his M.I.A. from Columbia University in 1968.

R.I. (Ray) Woods joined Shell Canada in 1968 as an Exploration Geophysicist. He progressed through various management positions in Shell's Exploration and Development functions and in 1990, was appointed Vice President, Development, and in 1993, Senior Vice President responsible for Research, Engineering and Construction, Information Technology and Health, Safety and Environment. In 1994, Mr. Woods accepted an assignment with Shell International Petroleum Company in London, England as Area Co-ordinator, Middle East and South Asia, and later moved to Stavanger where he served as Managing Director of Shell Norway. He returned to Canada and in 1998, as Senior Operating Officer, Resources for Shell Canada. In 2001/02, Mr. Woods served as Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP). In September 2002, Mr. Woods retired from Shell Canada. He lives in Calgary and continues to serve on the Boards of various industry and not for profit organizations. Mr. Woods graduated from the University of Toronto in 1968 with a degree in Engineering Physics.

Robert J. Wright is currently the Deputy Chairman of Teck Cominco, a diversified mining and refining company. Previously, he was Chairman of the Board of Teck Corporation. He was Chairman of the Ontario Securities Commission from 1989 until 1993. He was also Chairman and Director of the Toronto Port Authority, and was a Director of the Toronto Waterfront Revitalization Corporation. As a partner with the firm Lang Michener, Mr. Wright practised law from 1964 to 1989. Mr. Wright has been a member of the boards of numerous corporations. Currently, he is a Trustee of Fording Canadian Coal Trust, a Director of the Mutual Fund Dealers Association of Canada, Director of the AARC Foundation, a member of the Pension Fund Committee of Air Liquide Canada, Trustee of Armtec Infrastructure Income Fund, and a member of the Investment Committee of the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board of Ontario. Mr. Wright graduated from Trinity College, University of Toronto, with a B.A., and received his LL.B from Osgoode Hall Law School.

Last Modified:  9/23/2004

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