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External Advisory Committee on Smart Regulation (EACSR)

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Vision and Principles

The Committee proposes the following vision and principles to guide a Smart Regulation strategy for Canada.


Governments, citizens and businesses will work together to build a national regulatory system that maximizes the benefits of regulation for all Canadians, enables them to take advantage of new knowledge and supports Canada's participation in an international economy. Within this vision are three components:

  1. TRUST - The regulatory system must instil trust, confidence and credibility at home and abroad in Canadian products and services, markets and government institutions.
  2. INNOVATION - The regulatory system must enhance market performance and support innovation, competitiveness, entrepreneurship and investment in the Canadian economy.
  3. PROTECTION - The regulatory system must demonstrate to citizens that the public interest, which includes such issues as human health and safety and environmental protection, will be safeguarded within dynamic global markets.


This vision can be achieved by having our regulatory system, from the design stage to compliance and enforcement, adhere to the following principles:

  1. EFFECTIVENESS - Regulation must achieve its intended policy objectives and must advance national priorities. It should be based primarily on standards and performance targets, rather than on how those targets are achieved, in order to provide flexibility while serving the public interest. Regulation should be supported by evidence and should reflect the latest knowledge. Regulatory measures must be regularly and systematically reviewed and, where necessary, eliminated or modified; and new measures must be created to take into account changing consumer preferences and expectations, scientific and technological advances and changing business environments.

  2. COST-EFFICIENCY - Regulatory analytical requirements, measures and enforcement should be commensurate with the risks and problems involved. The appropriate instrument mix should be designed and implemented in the least costly manner possible to achieve the desired policy objectives. Single windows between departments and between jurisdictions should be offered. Regulators must understand the cumulative impact of regulation and seek to avoid overlap, duplication, inconsistency and unintended consequences.

  3. TIMELINESS - Regulatory decisions and government services must be provided in a manner that reflects the pace at which new knowledge develops, consumer needs evolve and business now operates. Timeframes and standards for decision making should be developed and enforced.

  4. TRANSPARENCY - The accessibility and transparency of the regulatory system must be maximized to promote learning and information sharing and to build public trust at home and abroad in the quality of Canadian regulation and the integrity of the process. Policy objectives should be clearly defined. Regulators must explain their priorities and decisions, show why and how these decisions are in the public interest, and be subject to public scrutiny. Information on regulatory programs and compliance requirements should be readily available in print and electronic formats. The regulatory system should be more predictable to provide certainty to those being regulated. Citizens and business should participate through active consultation and engagement.

  5. ACCOUNTABILITY AND PERFORMANCE - Regulators must account for their performance. They need to announce their intended results and demonstrate their progress in achieving them. Performance should be monitored, measured and reported on publicly. Results should be used to modify regulatory programs and should be systematically reported to the public. Regulatory systems must be fair and consistent. Complaints and appeals procedures should also be established, well publicized, accessible, fair and effective.

Last Modified:  9/21/2004

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