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Smart Regulation Will Need Public Input To Succeed

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Smart Regulation Will Need Public Input To Succeed

Smart Regulation, a new strategy for regulation recommended by a federal government appointed committee, will need considerable checks and balances, and in particular mandated public input, in order to achieve its goals. This was the conclusion of The Public Interest Advocacy Centre, (PIAC), an Ottawa-based non-governmental organization that specializes in issues involving the regulation of important public services and utilities. PIAC was a participant in the consultations conducted by the Privy Council appointed committee, the External Advisory Committee on Smart Regulation, that today issued its final report.

Michael Janigan, Executive Director and General Counsel of PIAC noted, “PIAC is heartened that the Committee rejected a strategy of deregulation and rather stressed reform to provide regulation that is accountable for its results”. Nevertheless, Janigan said that the implementation of the recommendations of the Committee will require vigilance to ensure that the appropriate public goals of consumer protection and public health and safety are maintained. “We support the observations and recommendation of the Committee that suggests the involvement of engaged Canadian citizenry on a level playing field with government and the regulated parties will be required.”

PIAC also cautioned that the suggested harmonization with regulatory standards of major international trading partners must never become a “race to the bottom” – in other words, common adoption of the lowest possible standard. “Canada must demonstrate leadership in issues involving health, environmental protection and consumer safeguards and attempt to develop sustainable commerce on a basis that is in keeping with Canadian values”, Janigan added.

PIAC hopes to be able to play a role in any future implementation of the EACSR report.

For more information please contact:

Michael Janigan
Executive Director/General Counsel
Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC)
(613) 562-4002 ext. 26
mjanigan@piac.ca

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