Smart Regulation is Key to Competitiveness

Comments by David Stewart-Patterson, Executive Vice President, Canadian Council of Chief Executives, on the announcement of a new federal plan for regulatory renewal:

“The Smart Regulation plan announced today by Treasury Board President Reg Alcock provides welcome leadership on an agenda that will play a critical role in spurring innovation, increasing Canada’s competitiveness and improving the quality of life of Canadians.

“The Smart Regulation plan is not about regulating less.  It is about making government work better to serve the interests of Canadians.  Following through on this plan will lead to better protection, lower costs, faster and more predictable regulatory processes, less overlap and duplication, more rapid alignment with global best practices and greater transparency and accountability.

“The plan draws heavily on the excellent recommendations of the External Advisory Committee on Smart Regulation, which issued its final report in September 2004.   Today’s announcement demonstrates a serious commitment by the federal government to move forward on this agenda. It goes beyond a one-time effort to reform standards and processes and dares to contemplate fundamental change in the culture of government in this country.

“One of the most important aspects of the Committee’s report was its focus on regulatory policy as a key element of Canada’s foreign policy.  The Smart Regulation plan builds on this theme by linking regulatory renewal to global competitiveness and by ensuring that Canada’s domestic agenda meshes with the commitment to greater regulatory cooperation across North America announced earlier this week by Prime Minister Paul Martin, United States President George W. Bush and Mexican President Vicente Fox.

“Today’s announcement is an important beginning to what must become an ongoing process within the federal government.  Canada’s business leaders are committed to doing their share in helping to move this agenda forward and to enable the country’s regulatory practices to make a real difference in strengthening our economy and increasing the wellbeing of all Canadians.”