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External Advisory Committee on Smart Regulation (EACSR)

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What is The External Advisory Committee on Smart Regulation?

The government established the External Advisory Committee on Smart Regulation (EACSR) in May 2003. The Committee was asked to provide the government with an external perspective and expert advice on the best way to redesign the government's regulatory approach to create and maintain a Canadian advantage. The Committee was given a 12-15 month mandate to study and review the regulatory system and make its recommendations.

What is the relationship of the External Advisory Committee to the Government of Canada?

The Committee conducted its work and provided its recommendations as an external advisory body at arms length from government. When reviewing Canada's regulatory system, the Committee was expected to receive the views from citizens and non-governmental organizations, business associations and researchers as well as from officials from federal, provincial and territorial governments. The External Advisory Committee had all the latitude it required to undertake the work it deemed necessary and to determine the nature and scope of its recommendations to government.

What is the Committee's mandate?

The Committee was asked to provide advice on where and how the government needs to redesign its regulatory approach to better meet the needs of Canadians and Canada. Specifically, the Committee's was asked to:

  • Develop a regulatory strategy for the 21st century;
  • Identify sectors and areas requiring regulatory reform in order to give Canada a strategic advantage; and
  • Review and provide an external perspective on specific issues identified by departments and stakeholders.

What is a "Smart Regulation"?

Smart Regulation is about finding better, more effective ways to protect the health and safety of Canadians and Canada's natural environment within a regulatory system that supports innovation and economic growth. The External Advisory Committee 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.

Who are the members of the Committee?

The Committee was comprised of 10 members with extensive experience and diverse backgrounds. The background and experience of members include research and science, consumer protection, environment, industry, and public service work. The government appointed Committee members based on their knowledge of regulatory issues and their commitment to the public interest. Members brought with them a diversity of personal, professional and regional experience. They did not represent any particular group or organization and did not advocate any single approach or perspective in relation to regulatory reform. Committee members were expected to provide expert, independent and non-partisan advice to the government.

What is the External Advisory Committee's budget?

The government spent $3 million out of the $4 million budget that was allocated over two years for the Committee. This includes staff salaries, member honoraria, travel and operating costs.

Did the External Advisory Committee conduct broad based consultations?

The Committee used a variety of consultative instruments and approaches to encourage individuals and organizations to participate in their deliberations. Since the creation of the Committee, the Chair and members have canvassed the views of a number of federal department and agencies, business organizations, consumer and environmental groups. Individuals and organizations had opportunities to share their views with the Committee at any time in writing or via the Committee's interactive web site.

The Committee participated in an ongoing dialogue with provincial and territorial governments. Existing and commissioned research was used to help ensure that its recommendations are relevant and helpful to all Canadians.

Isn't "Smart Regulation" just another way of saying "de-regulation"?

Smart Regulation is not deregulation. Smart Regulation is about finding better, more effective ways to protect the health and safety of Canadians and to promote the transition to sustainable development within a regulatory system that supports innovation. It requires creating a more transparent and predictable regulatory system that builds public trust in the quality of Canadian regulation and the integrity of the process.

Will the External Advisory Committee's recommendations be implemented?

Our report is essentially a call to action. It represents our best advice to transform Canada's regulatory approach so that the economic, social and environmental benefits associated with effective regulation can be fully realized. The federal government will need to consider our recommendations, establish priorities and proceed to build on the momentum for change that currently exists.

Last Modified:  9/22/2004

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