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Proceedings of the Standing Joint Committee for the
Scrutiny of Regulations
Issue 40 - Evidence - October 4, 2018
OTTAWA, Thursday, October 4, 2018
The Standing Joint Committee for the Scrutiny of Regulations met this day at 8:30 a.m. for review of Statutory Instruments.
Senator Joseph A. Day (Joint Chair) in the chair.
The Joint Chair (Senator Day): I see a few new friends in attendance today. Welcome.
APPEARANCE OF WITNESSES FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORT
The Joint Chair (Senator Day): We are very pleased to welcome from Transport Canada the three guests who are at the end of the table: Mr. Ezzeddin, Mr. McCrorie and Ms. George. They are here at our request because we felt there just hadn’t been the progress on some of the files we would like to have seen.
With that background, I’ll give Mr. McCrorie the floor. You’re aware of the areas we had concerns about. After each of you has had an opportunity to explain your position, there may well be questions from committee members.
SOR/2006-102 — TRAFFIC ON THE LAND SIDE OF AIRPORTS REGULATIONS
(For text of documents, see Appendix A, p. 40A:1)
SOR/2007-229 — REGULATIONS AMENDING THE CANADIAN AVIATION REGULATIONS (PART IV)
(For text of documents, see Appendix B, p. 40B:1)
SOR/2009-90 — REGULATIONS AMENDING THE CANADIAN AVIATION REGULATIONS (PARTS I, VI AND VII)
SOR/2009-152 — REGULATIONS AMENDING THE CANADIAN AVIATION REGULATIONS (PARTS I AND VII)
(For text of documents, see Appendix C, p. 40C:1)
Aaron McCrorie, Acting Assistant Deputy Minister, Safety and Security, Transport Canada: Thank you very much, Mr. Chair, for giving me the opportunity to appear before the committee today.
With me today is Marcia George, Director of our Aviation Safety Regulatory Review initiative. We’re very pleased to be here today to provide information on concerns you have raised in relation to three files: medical validity periods, legal name and unruly passengers.
I’m also here with my colleague Mr. Ross Ezzeddin, Director General of Air and Marine. He is here to address questions you may have on issues regarding the Government Property Traffic Act.
I want to outline at the outset that Transport Canada appreciates the vital function this committee plays to ensure that government departments remain accountable to Parliament. In fact, we consider the committee a partner in making a sound regulatory framework to ensure the safety of Canadians.
In this regard, I would like to add that we take very seriously every issue that you raised with us. We may not always be as quick to act as you might like, but we are firmly committed to addressing the issues you raise.
I can also assure you that Transport Canada takes your comments seriously as we draft new regulations. We take that into consideration as we draft new regulations in order to avoid a repeat of issues you’ve raised in the past.
You’ve asked specifically for information on three outstanding files: the medical validity of pilot licences, unruly passengers and the use of the term “legal name.” We will be pleased to address any questions you may have with respect to these files.
First, a bit of background.
The Canadian Aviation Regulations, also known as the CARs, have been in effect since October 2, 1996. The issues you’ve raised with respect to the CARs range from editorial to much more complex legal and program issues, which can at times require a much larger review of the policy intent of what we’re trying to accomplish as well as the implications for the larger regulatory framework.
We’ve tried to take a strategic approach to addressing the issues you’ve raised. We’re trying to address what I call the low-hanging fruit in a more timely fashion through targeted regulatory interventions, and for the more complex files, we’re taking more time to address properly.
Along those lines, we are currently developing four regulatory submissions that we plan on submitting for approval over the next 12 and a bit months. The first addresses 15 points that have been raised by the committee. We intend on going to Canada Gazette II by the end of this calendar year, so by the end of December 2018.
The second addresses 17 points you have raised. Again, our goal is to get this published in the Canada Gazette II by December 2018.
For the third, we have a dedicated regulatory file to address the concerns you’ve raised with respect to the medical validity periods. Our goal is to have that published in the Canada Gazette II by the end of December 2018.
The fourth addresses 37 points you raised over the years. It will address the issues of “legal name” and unruly passengers. It’s a much more complex file. It has issues within it that have impacts on the Canadian industry, so it’s taking more time for us to work through all the details. Our goal is to have that in Canada Gazette I post-election 2019. Again, we can’t go straight to Canada Gazette II on that one because of some of the complexity of the issues in that reg file and the impact it has on industries, so we have to do the prepublication.
While these submissions represent amendments that are more administrative in nature, there are other issues you have raised that are more complex and require more concentrated efforts from our department’s policy, regulatory, technical and legal experts. We have to engage all of these experts to make sure we develop an effective path forward to address all the concerns you have raised. Quite frankly, that sometimes takes time.
While the committee’s concerns are one of the drivers that promote changes to the CARs, there are other drivers we have to take into consideration to fulfill our mandate to provide a safe transportation system for Canadians. For example, we consider recommendations made by the Transportation Safety Board following an accident or incident. We need to make sure we’re harmonized with our international counterparts, like the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration or the European Aviation Safety Authority. We have to stay in compliance with the International Civil Aviation Organization, and we have to respond to input we receive from Canadian industry when regulatory irritants touch upon the viability of their industry or they raise safety concerns with us.
The aviation landscape itself is evolving rapidly, as you probably well know. Technological changes are reshaping industries, revolutionizing business models and creating new markets. That requires us to be more proactive, agile and use more modern tools than we currently have.
In contrast — and I think this is the root of some of the issues you raised with us — the CARs have not been modernized since 1996. This has resulted in a somewhat archaic regulatory framework in which we make reactive and piecemeal amendments to those regulations.
With the increasing complexity of the aviation industry and the need to support economic growth in Canada, modernization of the CARs is essential in order to meet the demands of our industry, to ensure a more agile framework and to address many of the concerns you have raised.
As a result, in 2010, Transport Canada received funding to support the establishment of a dedicated team, the Aviation Safety Regulatory Review Team, to augment our existing capacity and accelerate the pace of work to modernize the CARs. For too long, we’ve been trying to do the work off the side of our desks. We realized that wasn’t sufficient; we needed dedicated capacity to make the changes. I’m really pleased to say we have with us today Marcia George, who is the director of that team.
Marcia George, Director, Aviation Safety Regulatory Review, Transport Canada: You said 2010. It’s 2017.
Mr. McCrorie: Sorry. We didn’t have that much foresight. Yes, it was in 2017 that we established the dedicated team.
The aviation safety regulatory review initiative is one of the department’s five initiatives under the Transportation 2030 strategy, a long-term strategic approach to ensuring that Transport Canada remains a world-class regulator. In alignment with the Transportation 2030 strategy, we are also modernizing our safety and security legislative framework to ensure the laws that govern our safety and security frameworks include a comprehensive range of clear authorities that will allow for consistent decision making and the application of best practices across all modes in order to deliver on our safety and security mandates. This approach will allow us to be much quicker and more agile at responding to your concerns, and supporting and reporting on current and future demands of the aviation and transport sector, including safety issues, industry innovation and economic competitiveness.
One of the main drivers for the establishment of this regulatory review team is to address the issues you have raised. The issues you have raised often have multiple implications for our regulatory framework and also for the industry as a whole. The regulatory review team has allowed us to concentrate and accelerate efforts to address your concerns. For example, since its inception in December 2017, the team has been working with departmental experts in the policy, regulatory, technical and legal sides of the house to find a satisfactory solution to the concerns you’ve raised regarding manuals and non-compliance with operating policies or procedures contained in operator manuals and plans.
Under my direction, the team has been working on developing a new — and a fifth — regulatory submission related to manuals. In April, I asked that the team take a look at that. You had raised the concerns in the context of the CARs. We wanted to make sure that the concerns you raised in relation to manuals didn’t apply to other parts of our mandate, namely, marine, rail, transportation of dangerous goods. We did a review. We determined that the issue was limited to the CARs, so they are now developing an action plan moving forward to address the 11 instances where you’ve addressed concerns with the language of “comply with” or “adhere” to manuals.
The plan is we’re going to take a two-step approach. The plan is to publish, in Canada Gazette II by June 2018, amendments to address the 11 concerns you have raised. We would like to work with you over the coming months to make sure that the language we introduce addresses the concerns you have raised, at the same time balancing our ability to deliver the program effectively.
However, in our review of the CARs, we’ve identified 1,200 other instances that use this language. We can’t solve that problem all at once. So our intention moving forward in terms of those other 1,200 instances is, through the regulatory review team as we modernize the CARs, to modernize the language to reflect the concerns you have raised.
The manuals file is just one example where we’re working to do a better job as a regulator. By taking the time at the front end to better understand the issues, to examine a regulatory issue from a whole life-cycle approach, not only what the policy is but how we go about enforcing those regulations, we think we can develop more effective and more agile regulations. The investment upfront pays off in terms of the quality and the effectiveness of the regulations at the end of the day.
Finally, I would like to share our approach to prioritizing regulatory initiatives. Transport Canada faces constant challenges related to competing priorities, as the aviation sector, as you well know, is constantly growing and evolving. Further, incidents or accidents occur, which require more immediate action to address underlying safety issues, often in very tight time frames.
As you know, the minister’s primary concern is the safety of the travelling public. It is for this reason that safety-related initiatives have to be given the highest priority and must be addressed in the most timely manner possible. Some of the current initiatives we’re working on are looking at remotely piloted air systems and flight crew fatigue management.
You may remember the National Transportation Safety Board came out with a report about two weeks ago identifying fatigue and a near accident in San Francisco. We have to address that issue. So while we appreciate there are outstanding issues, we continue our efforts to address the concerns that the committee has raised with us.
We have made progress. Since 2014, we’ve successfully closed 60 issues. The three regulatory files that I spoke to going to Canada Gazette II by the end of 2018 will address another 33 issues.
The 11 issues that you’ve raised in relation to manuals will be closed by June 2019.
I’ve talked about the fourth regulatory file where you’ll find the unruly passengers and legal name issue. Those 37 issues will be addressed post-election 2019 in Canada Gazette I.
That’s 141 issues you’ve raised with us that we think we will have successfully address by the end of 2019.
We know we’re not as fast as perhaps you would like us to be, but we are committed to addressing the concerns you have raised. With the regulatory review team, we can be faster than we have been in the past.
Again, thank you, Mr. Chair, for giving me the opportunity to speak to the committee today.
We’d be happy to take any questions that you may have.
The Joint Chair (Senator Day): Thank you very much. Were we to hear from either Ms. George or Mr. Ezzeddin at this stage?
Ross Ezzeddin, Director General, Air and Marine Programs, Transport Canada: I can speak to the Government Property Traffic Act very briefly.
The Joint Chair (Senator Day): Why don’t we get it all on the table?
Mr. Ezzeddin: I think the committee is aware of the issue that has been raised on and off for a number of years, and the chair was reminding me of the cycles of correspondence that date back to 2006. In roughly 2010, to address the issue that had been identified, Transport Canada made a commitment to amend a section of the Government Property Traffic Act. To recap the issues, at a high level there’s an apparent inconsistency between the provisions of paragraph 2(1)(f) of the Government Property Traffic Act between the English and the French. The English uses the term “officer.” The French uses the word “fonctionnaire.” As a consequence, there has also been a concern about the coherence between those provisions and sections of the Traffic on the Land Side of Airports Regulations, which essentially allow the government or others to regulate traffic on the non-operating side of airports. This would be parking, pedestrian traffic, use of wheelchairs and the like. There have been concerns about whether the regulatory-making authority established in the Government Property Traffic Act is broad enough to allow for enforcement by non-public servants under the Traffic on the Land Side of Airport Regulations. That has been the issue.
As you can imagine, the legislative amendment that would be required to the Government Property Traffic Act is relatively minor. It’s not broad enough in scope to merit a stand-alone piece of legislation. We have been actively looking for a legislative vehicle under which to bring those changes forward.
I can’t speak with great authority around efforts prior to my assuming my current position, but since 2016 we’ve been actively looking for that legislative vehicle. For the first attempt we made, the Department of Justice has a program with which you’re likely quite familiar called the Miscellaneous Statute Law Amendment Program. That will periodically culminate in a Miscellaneous Statute Law Amendment Act being brought before Parliament, and the most recent one was in 2017.
We were unfortunately unable to effect the change to the Government Property Traffic Act through that particular vehicle, but we are looking actively for another vehicle and hope to bring resolution to the issue soon.
Having had the chance to review the multiple rounds of correspondence, I can understand the committee’s concern on this file. We’re committed to bring it to a close as quickly as we can.
The Joint Chair (Senator Day): When you say “as quickly as we can,” can you give us a time? Within a year?
Mr. Ezzeddin: The best answer I can give to that, unfortunately, is that — as members are aware and as the chair is likely aware — the government’s legislative agenda is a product of a number of considerations and is often rooted in the government’s overall priorities, mandate letter commitments and other antecedents. The issue here is just trying to find a way to navigate through that.
If it was up to me, I would love to be able to offer a specific commitment on a timeline. There are many factors that enter into those types of decisions. It ultimately rests with the government as a whole and with the cabinet. I can’t commit beyond really saying that, from our perspective, we’ll be working very hard to find any possible avenue through which we could effect the change.
The Joint Chair (Senator Day): Thank you for that.
Ms. George: Good morning everyone. I am one of the newer additions to the civil aviation program at Transport Canada. At the end of 2017, I was brought on board to lead a team of 12 dedicated full-time employees to look at modernizing and updating the CARs.
We are aware that the CARs came into effect in 1996, as Aaron mentioned, and have not been holistically reviewed since that time. There has been a piecemeal approach. My team has been granted the opportunity to look at the CARs, peel away the layers of the onion, if you will, and start to modernize as effectively as possible.
We have a mandate until March 31, 2022. We are one of five initiatives under Transport Canada’s Transportation 2030 strategy. Within those five key pillars, all of which play into our everyday activities, are the legislative framework modernization, where the department is looking at 10 acts and ensuring there is consistency across those acts. We’re working very closely with that team in that even as the committee has highlighted, there are connections between the act and the regulations and sometimes discrepancies.
We also have the regulatory framework with the two focal points being civil aviation — the one that I am leading — and marine safety and security. We have oversight modernization, digitization and service delivery looking at mobility, particularly of our inspectors and our online capabilities, as well as cost recovery. Those five pillars are all interconnected, as I just mentioned, and play a huge part in everything that we’re doing.
My team has a few key drivers in addition to the dated CARs. This list is not limited, but we also have the standing joint committee recommendations and concerns. We have Transportation Safety Board recommendations, and we have areas where we continue to issue and reissue exemptions. That is a focus as well.
We have the 2015-16 internal work that was done by Transport Canada’s civil aviation program looking nationally at all levels, from the inspector boots on the ground all the way up to senior management, to identify irritants with the CARs. That work in 2015 and 2016 raised approximately 1,000 irritants of varying degrees of concern.
We have the 2013 Fletcher report where Minister Fletcher met with industry and made recommendations to the CARs, and we have the Emerson report.
Those last three that I just mentioned fed into the 1,000 irritants.
We, of course, also have ICAO harmonization in areas where we need to be addressing differences.
We have two other drivers at the moment. We are about to launch a Let’s Talk web page where we’re going to be working with our industry stakeholders and allowing them an opportunity to raise some of their irritants with the CARs. As you can appreciate, the industry is quickly moving, and sometimes the regulations don’t meet their needs.
In addition, we have, as you may be aware, the Budget 2018 Treasury Board regulatory modernization initiative in which we’re looking at innovation and economic benefit.
As you can see, we have a tall order. My team is happy to have taken on the manuals file, in particular, to address, as we go through our mandate until March 2022, the 1,200 other references that we see to manuals within the CARs and ensure that there is a consistent approach, a common look and feel and that we’re addressing them as required.
I’ll leave it there for now. That’s essentially our initiative and where we are now.
The Joint Chair (Senator Day): This is an interesting initiative that we want to keep an eye on, counsel, I would think, and see if the results that you hope for are forthcoming. I think that would be very helpful.
Mr. McCrorie: On that point, as I noted in my remarks, we would like to work very closely with the committee and your staff, especially around issues like manuals, but on other issues as well, so that we can make sure we get the regulatory language right at the front end that addresses your concerns. We would appreciate not just reporting but actively engaging with this committee to make sure your concerns are addressed and that we put these issues to bed once and for all.
There will be other issues that come up. Nothing is ever perfect, but we think there’s a great opportunity here to work collaboratively to make sure we address your concerns. We’d appreciate that opportunity.
The Joint Chair (Senator Day): So far it’s just on the aviation side of things. Is there any plan to move it into other areas within Transport Canada or elsewhere within the government where you have a dedicated voluntary team working on regulations?
Mr. McCrorie: Within Transport Canada, our organization responsible for marine safety and security is also doing a review of the marine safety regulations. Marcia suggested there is this broader review of regulations being done by Treasury Board with a focus on making regulations more performance-based, more responsive to industry and allowing them to be more innovative. But within Transport, we only have the two dedicated initiatives to updating the regulations.
The Joint Chair (Senator Day): Thank you.
Senator Mégie: My question is for the committee as a whole and probably for the guests as well.
We’re talking about the consistency between English and French terms; since I’m new to the committee, I’m wondering if, within our mandate, we also examine such things as wording and grammar rules. I see that everywhere in the French version of the Canadian Aviation Regulations, it says “Règlement de l’aviation canadien” when it should normally say “Règlement de l’aviation canadienne.”
I don’t know if that matters. It would not impact safety, but let’s just say that for the image of the committee — I don’t know.
The Joint Chair (Senator Day): We hear quite often, and we heard it today, that one of the issues is inconsistency in language.
Counsel, what is your role in relation to the language aspect?
Cynthia Kirkby, Acting General Counsel to the Committee: If there is something we noticed, we would certainly raise it. That isn’t one that we had noticed.
I don’t know if you considered the grammar.
Mr. McCrorie: I’m sorry. I’m not sure I understood the question, but I think that the answer is yes. When we have opportunities to adjust the language, that’s what Marcia’s team is there for. If you have examples to give us, we’ll be happy to try to do that.
The challenge that we’re always going to have is trying to manage 1,200 references to manuals. We’re constantly struggling with the volume of changes. Nonetheless, if there are specific examples, we’d be happy to take them on board and look at how we can address those particular issues.
Senator Mégie: Thank you.
The Joint Chair (Senator Day): Thank you, senator.
Mr. Badawey: It’s a pleasure to be back. My apologies for my absence last week. I was travelling. I heard everything went well, so congratulations on that.
Just a point first, and a question. The point is that I congratulate your staff for doing what you’re doing in being proactive versus reactive and waiting for this committee to bring forward our concerns. I applaud you for that. I would only hope that other departments would follow your lead with respect to being proactive and, therefore, we wouldn’t have to do as much or chase as much as we have to at times. Again, I congratulate you for it that.
The question, however, is timing. With respect to the initiative that you’re taking on, what is your timing as this rolls out? That begs a second question: When we then bring forward our concerns as we have here today, where would that fall into the queue? Would it be bumped to the bottom, or would it be a priority on behalf of the department?
Mr. McCrorie: I think, if I understand the question, looking at my numbers here, we expect, by December 2018 — so the end of this calendar year — to address, through three regulatory packages, including one dedicated to the medical validity period, 33 of the concerns you’ve raised.
Our second-order priority is the 11 issues that you’ve raised around the language around manuals. Our intent is to have something in Canada Gazette II by June 2019, so prior to the next federal election.
There are 37 other issues that have been identified. They are more complex and take a little more time for us to package up into a regulatory package and to understand them. Because they have a somewhat bigger impact on the Canadian aviation industry, we can’t go straight to Canada Gazette II, but our intent for those 37 amendments is to publish by the end of 2019.
Those are the four immediate regulatory packages. As new issues are raised, we have to take those on board and put them in the context of all the other priorities we have.
I appreciate the frustration the committee may have with the timeliness of our responses. Again, I think can you take us to task for our timeliness, but I’d like to say you can’t take us to task for our commitment. We are committed to addressing your concerns. We’re constantly managing the different priorities that come in and that we have to address.
I do want to put a caveat around this. I’ve suggested the end of 2018, June 2019 and the end of 2019. We don’t control the entire agenda. We have to manage the agenda. We have to manage our part of it and then do our best to work, as Ross said, in terms of the broader government priorities.
Our intent and our goal is we’re pushing hard to meet those timelines. There may be slippage. We’re not walking into this with that intent, but I don’t control the cabinet agenda. If we can’t get these items on the Treasury Board agenda, they won’t get published by a certain date.
Those are factors beyond our control. Our responsibility is to manage the files, to mitigate those risks. We do so, and we actively manage our files, but we don’t control the entire agenda.
We know there’s going to be a slowdown with the upcoming federal election. One of the things we’ve done for all of our regulations in Transport Canada, safety and security, is ask, “What are the files that absolutely need to get done before the election?” We’re calling those our “bucket one” files. That includes all the files that I’ve talked about here. Those are the ones we absolutely have to get done.
There’s a second set of files that are well advanced, and we will make our best efforts to get them done before the election. They don’t include any of these files.
There’s a third set that we’re just shoving aside because we know we can’t get them done before the next federal election, so let’s not gum up the system with those files. So we’re making strategic choices about our priorities to make sure the top priorities, including the ones that address your issues, get done in the most timely fashion possible.
Mr. Badawey: Thank you. It’s a fair comment.
The last comment I’ll make is this, and a request. We’re attempting to put a template in place so that the committee doesn’t have to micromanage the entire process as we move forward. We’re going to have a template that actually calls for a letter or request a witness, and then after that, if we get no satisfaction, we go to a report and move forward in ways that sometimes we would rather not.
Having said that, however, from the outside, looking at your processes, may I request a summary or an outline of exactly what you’ve presented today? As you stated, no, you don’t have control of cabinet; you’re at their mercy. I can personally speak with the minister or a member of the committee can speak with your minister, and hopefully he can bring that to cabinet and ensure that the committee receives the respect that it deserves, especially as it relates to timeliness.
Mr. Dusseault: Thank you for appearing before our committee today. First of all, I want to congratulate you on your serious testimony this morning. Compared to other witnesses, you set the stage more efficiently. That is to your credit.
My first question pertains to the new regulatory review team. I would like for other departments to do the same. We know that Transport Canada is one of the largest departments in charge of regulations. Was that an initiative launched by your team or a wider Government of Canada initiative with, for instance, Treasury Board? Why not extend that approach to all regulatory authorities, particularly the larger ones like Transport Canada?
Mr. McCrorie: I can’t discuss other departments’ strategies about their regulatory renewal. However, Transport Canada has tried to address the issues that the committee brought up, as well as those of the International Civil Aviation Organization, the ICAO, and of the Transportation Safety Board of Canada, the TSB. At some point, we realized that it was impossible to address these issues with the team we had in place. That’s why we decided to create a team dedicated to civil aviation. We asked for the necessary resources to do so, and the government approved this strategy. It is a civil aviation strategy.
It’s not appropriate for me to comment on the strategies other departments may take, but for us it was that we were trying to address the concerns raised by the committee, by the Transportation Safety Board and by others. We have teams who are working on moving forward safety regulations, maintaining the existing framework. We couldn’t do it all.
That’s why we had to put in place a team dedicated to regulatory renewal. I hope this answers your question.
Mr. Dusseault: Absolutely. I believe that some departments would be well advised to listen to you, for instance Environment and Climate Change Canada, with which we have the most issues.
You’ve mentioned a few times that you were planning on amending regulations after the election. It’s as if the election was preventing you from doing your work. Why does it slow you down and to what extent do you set your timeline around the election?
Mr. McCrorie: The election does not slow down our work. It gives us an opportunity to accomplish more work because it’s a quieter time. However, it is impossible to publish regulations in the Canada Gazette during the election period.
So there is a period prior to the election, the caretaker convention, where files will not be formally approved and published. It doesn’t mean we stop working. We use that opportunity to do a lot more work. This year we could publish any month of the year, but next year we won’t be able to publish any month of the year.
Mr. Dusseault: I have one last question regarding the regulation of air traffic. This issue was raised 10 years ago. Unlike other files in which the committee doesn’t agree with the department on certain issues, in this case, we agree with you about the wording in both English and French. It must be rectified. Despite that, it’s been 10 years, and the issue has yet to be solved. You said that no vehicle has yet allowed us to do it, including the different amendments that were made. Why could these elements not be included in Bill C-49? I’m sure that you’re quite familiar with that bill on air transportation. Why could it not be included in that document?
Mr. Ezzeddin: Thank you for your question. I don’t really know why. I believe that at that stage, we were trying to include that issue in the other legislation, the one about justice.
I think those processes were happening roughly at the same time, unfortunately. I would say, certainly, we’re looking for any vehicle going forward that the government has in the transportation domain.
There may have been some questions also about the links between some of the elements of Bill C-49 in this particular activity as well. In hindsight, it may have been a vehicle. We were expecting we would have other opportunities at the time.
Mr. Dusseault: Alright. By trying to focus more on one aspect, you missed out on the opportunity to amend the other bill. It didn’t happen in the end.
Ms. Romanado: I’m new to this committee, substituting. Could you walk me through the process in which your department would bring forward items to cabinet? You mentioned that the hold-up is that you have to get things before cabinet, get into the regulatory framework and into the parliamentary calendar.
Can you walk me through how it would normally happen in your department to get these issues brought to cabinet? I want to make sure I understand where the hold-up is. Elaborate, please.
Mr. McCrorie: Maybe what I can do is describe what I call the ideal type.
Part of the issue in terms of timeliness is that life doesn’t always work out the way we expect it to. If I could describe the ideal type of how we create a regulation, initially there’s the problem identification stage: What’s the issue or problem we’re trying to address? It could be as simple as our regulations being out of date. We were told that, and we need to update them. It could be that this committee has identified a problem, and we need to solve that.
Step one is problem identification, and understanding the depth and scope of that problem. That’s the upfront of what I call the risk assessment policy work. That’s not always as simple as it may seem. We have a couple of examples of files here. For example, there’s the manuals issue, where you’ve identified 11 instances of the use of the word, but there are, in fact, another 1,200. The scope and depth of that problem is much more than the 11.
Regarding the use of the term “legal name,” which I think was the third issue you wanted to speak to us about today, you’ve identified four instances where it’s used; we’ve identified another 18.
So we have to do that analysis and upfront work both from a legal and policy perspective, but to also really understand the scope, depth and dimension of the problem. Then it’s a question of how we go about solving it.
Again, I’m talking about an ideal type here. Sometimes the solution will be that we’re not going to regulate because there are better ways of solving this problem. You’ll have seen the department in some instances when it relates to an issue around an unstabilized approach, such as the tragic accident in Nunavut a couple of years ago. We provided more guidance and direction to industry through advisory circulars rather than regulating. We thought they would interact quicker that way than through regulation.
We make a choice how we’re going to proceed. Assuming that we decide we’re going to do regulation, we then have to consult with industry.
Within Transport Canada civil aviation, you’ll see us talk about a notice of proposed amendment, or NPA. We send that out to all interested Canadians, and we provide a period of time to hear from them. It’s very rare that they come back and say, “You got it perfectly right.” There are always going to be concerns around over-regulating, not regulating enough and the impact on industry. So we have to take those comments on board, understand and analyze them, and decide what we do to define a path forward.
This is all still well within the department, but it’s at this stage that we start working with our colleagues in the Department of Justice to craft regulations. Those regulations, again, depending on the nature and scope of them, can be very simple or take longer to develop. As we get to a certain point of maturity, we also have to develop other products that need to go with the Treasury Board submission to get the regulations published. That’s where we do our cost-benefit analysis and our Regulatory Impact Assessment Statement, RIAS.
All of that comes together in a package that gets approved by the minister and goes to Treasury Board. When I talk about the challenge there, it’s not to say that we don’t get on the agenda, but there’s only so much time on an agenda. Sometimes it’s at the beginning of October when we’d like to be on the agenda, but it’s the end of October when we get there. The point is that we don’t control that aspect of it.
There’s a challenge function that takes place because Treasury Board wants to make sure we’re putting forward the best possible regulations. They’re going to ask, “Have you adequately consulted? Let’s look at that cost-benefit. Have you properly assessed the cost to Canadians and the Canadian industry versus the benefits this regulation is going to bring?” That takes time and energy.
You go through that process, you get published in Canada Gazette I. Then you go through it all again because you have to go back to Canada Gazette II.
Marcia, is there anything from a process point of view that you would like to add?
Ms. George: The consultation phase sometimes doesn’t always go the way we’d like it to, we hope it will or we predicted it would. That’s often the case. There’s that challenge function from our Treasury Board colleagues that Aaron spoke to.
Mr. McCrorie: The other thing we haven’t historically done a good job of, quite frankly — again, we’re trying to change this — is, at the very front end, understanding the whole life-cycle implications of what we’re doing. How are we going to enforce those regulations? Is that language the right language? Do we need to regulate? Taking the time up front is an investment that pays off at the end because we will have fewer issues for you to identify, for example.
I can’t remember what the second point was.
Ms. Romanado: I appreciate the clarity, but from the testimony you gave, the impression was that all of this back end had been done and that you’re not getting it to the cabinet table. I wanted to get clarity with respect to that. I’m glad you clarified the back end.
But you are bringing things to the minister’s attention, and it is moving down the pike. The way it sounded from your testimony was that everything on the back end had been done and you’re waiting on an opportunity to bring it to cabinet, which is not the case, because it’s a constant pipeline of regulations and processes that have to happen, depending on whatever it is before you.
I want to make sure I understood. Things are getting there; it’s just that a lot of back-end work needs to be done any time something is brought forward, if I understand correctly.
Mr. McCrorie: Absolutely. Your analogy of the pipeline is a great one. The pipeline can only carry so much through it at one given time.
I apologize. I wanted to make a second point. I talked about the ideal type, but the four regulatory files I spoke about today are at a very mature stage of development. Again, because of the nature of the issues in there, the level of consultation and engagement is different.
Our plan today is for three of those files to be published by December 2018. My caveat to that is that that’s our plan. If it’s January or February, please cut us some slack, but we’re not talking about January 2022.
I think the short answer to your question is yes.
Ms. Romanado: Thank you very much.
Mr. Benzen: Thank you, witnesses. I like your approach with regard to the low-hanging fruit and the structure you put in place, but regulations affect people. Once they’re in place, instances could come up. If they are not fixed, then we have problems.
One of these files goes back to 2006. Everybody has agreed it should be fixed. My question is how long? I know you’re being proactive going forward, and you’re trying to make the changes, update and modernize. But as a committee, we sit here and wonder about the time frame we should allow before we jump to a higher level and escalate it. Twelve years seems like a long time.
In your mind, how long should something like this go before it’s fixed? Should it be a maximum of two years or four years? I understand the complexity of all the things you’ve laid out today. I appreciate it’s more difficult than us just sitting here and saying, “Go fix it and have it done tomorrow.” What is a reasonable time frame for us to come to you and say that we can’t let this go for six, eight or 10 years? What, in your mind, is a time frame in which something like this should be fixed?
Mr. McCrorie: I don’t think there’s a formula. You have to look at each issue on its own merits and understand the implications, and the risks associated with those implications, with the issue at hand.
At Transport Canada, we often talk about being risk-based. That’s in the sense that we’re not going to regulate everything, but you’re right that our regulations have an impact. It’s understanding the implications of the issues that are being brought before us.
Depending on the scope, depth and the consequences of those risks, that begins to tell you how urgent the issue is. It doesn’t mean you don’t address them, but it’s about trying to find the right balance between meeting urgent, pressing issues, some of which may be issues the SJC has raised, or they’re safety or harmonization issues with the international community, but others may be of lesser consequence and, therefore, don’t warrant a more immediate action.
I will say that we’ve done a poor job going back several years, and I don’t think that’s excusable. But that is in part what has driven us to take a more proactive approach. We think we’re going to be more agile and more rapid. But I can’t give you a formula that says it’s 18 months after you’ve addressed an issue.
In my experience, a normal regulatory best case timeline for a file to go through is about 18 months to three years. I’ve been seized with high-profile files that are more complex. If I look at how long it has taken us with our drone regulations, we published in Canada Gazette I in June 2017, and we’re hoping to publish in Canada Gazette II before the end of 2018. That’s 18 months later.
The pipeline analogy works well. I also use sausage making. We like to think we have great sausages at the end of the day, but it’s kind of ugly as you grind the meat up and go through it. I’m not giving you a very good answer in terms of the formula, but I think you have to assess the practical impact and risk associated with the issue. If there are lives at stake, that’s going to take precedence.
One of the things we struggle with is that lots of irritants have been raised by inspectors, industry, by you. It doesn’t mean we don’t take them seriously, but we have to balance them. Ten or 15 years is too long, but I don’t know —
Mr. Benzen: Our goal is to close these files. So we have to push back hard and say — like on this one — it’s a small, minor thing. We think it should be easy to do. I get that it’s not a high safety priority. So there’s a pushback. Our goal is to push you to get these done. I think we’d like to see it done in three, four years, not 10 or 12.
Mr. McCrorie: If I take a typical timeline — it’s tough to judge when a reg file starts, such as when drones became an issue we’re going to regulate — two to three years is probably reasonable, even though sometimes four or five years, depending on the complexity, is not unrealistic. I would suggest that you bear that in mind.
I want to assure you that we’re quite genuine. Take us to task on the timeliness; we respect that. But please understand that we are committed to addressing those issues. The fact that they may not be the most pre-eminent safety issues doesn’t mean we don’t take them seriously. It’s how we try to manage our priorities.
Mr. Miller: To carry on with Mr. Benzen’s comments, I don’t care in what context you want to put it, with all due respect, Mr. McCrorie, 12 years — and this is going to go on 14 or 15 — is unacceptable. And I don’t care what excuse anybody comes up with. That’s what it would be: an excuse.
This one here, where the language changed from the definition, from French to English, fix it. That’s why we have legal people. If it takes a few months, I can understand that, but not years. That’s low-hanging fruit.
There’s an old saying out there that the difficult we do right away, the impossible takes a little longer.
We have to get it done, Mr. Chair. And 12 years is unacceptable; I don’t care what the issue is. I don’t know how else to put it.
Mr. Scarpaleggia: I thought your presentation was excellent in terms of clarity and explaining the process for deciding whether to fix the offending regulation. You really zeroed in on the notion of risk analysis. In other words, you look at each case and more or less do a risk evaluation of not making that change right away. Am I understanding correctly?
Mr. McCrorie: Yes.
Mr. Scarpaleggia: Because there are so many regulations, there’s only so much time and there are only so many people. As you said in one case, maybe an interpretation notice or some kind of advisory is more effective. The stakeholders find out right away what needs to be done whereas, given the process for adopting regulations, it could take a couple of years normally even when things go well.
Out of curiosity, in terms of the issue around whether the minister “may” endorse a shorter validity period or “shall,” were there ever any consequences to not changing it from “may” to “shall?” Did cases pop up where the department realized it should be “shall,” or did no problem arise? In other words, there was really no big risk in leaving at it way it was. Was that how the department decided, for example, not to move on this so quickly? These are general questions to satisfy my curiosity about the process.
Mr. McCrorie: If I may, I’ll respond to your question but also the last point. We’re not making any excuses. We will apologize for our delays. But we’re not going to make excuses, and we’re trying to change what we’re doing. We take your points. We take them on board very seriously.
I’m not aware of any instances where the issue around “may” or “shall” had a consequential impact on any individual pilot.
Mr. Scarpaleggia: Were you aware of this issue before? Was the department independently aware of this issue before our committee brought it up? How can you scour all the regulations on a regular basis to find weak points in the link, as it were? Do you depend on us only or on problematic cases that have made the news or have resulted in court cases? Do you do a regular review, other than this comprehensive holistic review you’re doing now? On an ongoing basis, is there some kind of review process where once a year you go over the existing regulations without, as I say, embarking on a total reworking of the regulations?
Mr. McCrorie: The short answer is no. The Canadian Aviation Regulations number thousands of pages. Behind those regulations, there are standards that number in the tens of thousands of pages. By way of example, one regulation says you need to design your airport according to a Transport Canada document called TP 312, airport design standards. It’s one regulation, one line that in turn refers to a standard that is probably about 500 pages long. Our challenge has been that the volume of regulations in place preclude that holistic review. Again, that’s why we felt it was necessary, 20 or 30 years later, to do this more holistic review of the regulations.
Marcia gave you a good summary of what it is, but this committee is one of the inputs that says, “We’ve looked at your regulations and here is where we found some instances.” Your committee has prompted us to look further. When it came to the issue of manuals, we identified 1,200 other instances. When it came to the issue of legal names, we identified 18 other instances.
So we’re not abdicating our responsibility. These become triggers for us to dive more deeply into these industry raised concerns.
Those are the various inputs into it.
Mr. Scarpaleggia: Thank you very much.
The Joint Chair (Senator Day): Thank you, colleagues. This has been a good discussion.
I want to thank our witnesses for being here, Ms. George, Mr. McCrorie and Mr. Ezzeddin. And thank you for the proactive manner in which you’re dealing with this area. That’s very important to us and to you.
Just to finish off with the aviation part of Transport Canada and the regulatory scheme that they’re talking about, we should hear from counsel as to how you see us going from here. There are so many regulations, but they do have this new initiative that we want to stay on top of.
Ms. Kirkby: I think that was positive. They recognized the issue of timeliness. They intend to address it. They have the additional funding going forward. There are several amendments that seem to be imminent, so we can certainly keep our eyes open for that.
I will admit Penny is more familiar with these files than I am, but we did learn new information today. One idea would be to ask them to put that information in writing, perhaps with additional details so that we can see exactly which 15 points by the end of 2018 and which 17 points by December, just to get that additional detail in writing.
The Joint Chair (Senator Day): Any comments, colleagues?
Mr. Miller: I’m okay with that, but does it guarantee anything? Not exactly.
I think that is the biggest bunch of bureaucratese I’ve ever heard in my life. It’s just trying to say what they think we want to hear. Unless there’s action to go with it, Mr. Chair — I have only been here an hour and my frustration level is —
The Joint Chair (Senator Day): We’ll try to keep Mr. Miller’s frustration level down.
The consensus seems to be that we would keep in touch and follow up on this presentation to know, in more precise terms, just what they’re hoping to achieve.
At one time he said there are some regulations that they know can’t get done before the election, so they are just pushing those aside. They’re not doing anything on them.
But we wouldn’t want our counsel to be doing a whole lot of work on those as well. If we can live without them, then there seems to be a lot of other things that would keep you well occupied.
Ms. Kirkby: I think we have a total of 18 files. There are certainly several. I’m not sure which have been set aside and which have been prioritized, so we could seek that additional information from them.
It’s true that there are no guarantees, but we will keep an eye out to see what does get published in December. If it doesn’t get published in December, then we will seek more information about the cause of the delay.
Mr. Badawey: We do have a process we established last meeting or the meeting before that with respect to followup. I agree; let’s get something in writing in terms of how it’s going to queue. Then, of course, following that would be the proper process that we established. That’s what I would recommend.
The Joint Chair (Senator Day): Can we all agree on that?
Hon. Members: Agreed.
The Joint Chair (Senator Day): Counsel, we look forward to you letting us know how you’re making out with this one.
SOR/2011-236 — REGULATIONS AMENDING THE CRIMINAL RECORDS REGULATIONS
(For text of documents, see Appendix D, p. 40D:1)
Ms. Kirkby: Three issues were raised with the Department of Public Safety in 2013, including that the Criminal Records Regulations referred to granting a pardon, but the Criminal Records Act was changed in 2012 to refer instead to ordering a record suspension. It appeared that all three issues were to be addressed, but in 2016 the department advised that the amendments would be examined in the context of a broader review of the criminal justice system.
The committee considered this reply and decided that the amendments should be made by June 2018, since there is often delay when promised amendments are incorporated into a broader review.
The department’s subsequent reply did not acknowledge the committee’s expected timeline, stating instead that it is best for the amendments to be incorporated into a larger package.
The joint chairs therefore wrote to the Minister of Public Safety urging him to consider using the Miscellaneous Amendments Regulations process at the earliest opportunity for these amendments rather than awaiting the outcome of the broader review and more substantive amendments that might result.
The reply from the minister does not address the possibility of using the MARs program and, again, refers to the ongoing review and the idea that it is premature to amend the regulations before the review is completed. That is where things stand.
Mr. Scarpaleggia: I’m asking counsel what their reaction is to the minister’s statement or position that we should wait. What are the practical impacts of not waiting? That’s really what it always seems to boil down to. Is it a problem not to wait? Is there a practical problem for those receiving a pardon if it’s such a simple matter of changing a word? That’s what we’re talking about, really, changing a term.
Ms. Kirkby: It would be amending the regulations to be consistent with —
Mr. Scarpaleggia: If it’s such a simple matter as changing a word, why wait? I’m showing you both sides of the issue.
Is it a problem that needs to be addressed right away? If it’s so easy to address, why are they delaying addressing it? I think if we had answers to those questions, we might have better clarity on whether the minister is correct.
Ms. Kirkby: It’s hard to tell what the practical implications are. These terms were rendered obsolete six years ago, so I think it, perhaps, is an inconsistency between the regulations and the enabling act.
It happens with some frequency that regulation-making authorities will want to wait to make our amendments until they’re making other amendments as well. I call it bundling. They bundle our amendments with others, which seems to be what is happening here.
We had suggested using the miscellaneous amendments process because it’s a faster process. That just wasn’t picked up on, and I’m not sure why.
Mr. Badawey: It’s been said and/or asked. I’m wondering about the imminence of the actual amendment we’re asking for. We’re in a tug-and-pull between counsel’s opinion versus the minister’s opinion with respect to bundling and the possibility of a conflict if an amendment is made now. They make amendments and then some are conflicting. Do you see it happening? Or do you see if we make an amendment now that it’s going to carry through their bundling process?
I don’t want to make an amendment now and then we have to make another one after they’re finished.
Ms. Kirkby: Yes. A lot of the policy issues they talked about aren’t things that are in these particular regulations. For example, the fee is in a separate instrument; the waiting period is in the act itself. So unless they decided to change the term records suspension back to pardon, I don’t think you would end up with a conflict.
Mr. Badawey: Thank you.
Ms. Romanado: In the response from the minister, he states that the Department of Public Safety and its portfolio partners continue to review the pardon’s program, or record suspensions, but doesn’t indicate when this review is going to be complete. Are we talking about something that’s going to be done in the next three weeks, or is this something that’s going to be done in the next six years? I’m not sure if it’s possible to inquire about the status of that so we can get a sense of when this could be addressed, if it’s going to be bundled. If we’re talking about something that’s going to be coming down the pike in the next three months, maybe the committee can say that’s reasonable, versus this is not going to be addressed or completed until three years from now.
Ms. Kirkby: It’s not something that we have an answer to. I believe we have tried to get an idea out of them, not in the correspondence presented today but in the correspondence presented at the earlier meeting where we had specifically attempted to get a timeline and did not succeed in getting that information.
Ms. Romanado: Would it be possible for this committee to follow up and specifically ask for the status of that and the timeline so we can make a decision on the next step?
Ms. Kirkby: We can ask.
The Joint Chair (Senator Day): It’s the committee that is asking for this?
Ms. Kirkby: Yes.
The Joint Chair (Senator Day): Is everybody okay with that? We’ll see how that goes. Thank you.
Item No. 3 on our agenda is under the heading “Reply Unsatisfactory.”
SOR/78-830 — WOOD BUFFALO NATIONAL PARK GAME REGULATIONS
(For text of documents, see Appendix E, p. 40E:1)
Ms. Kirkby: This file concerns regulations that were made in 1978. The history of the file is long and complicated. The main issue is that Parks Canada had agreed, in 2012, to address instances of unnecessary discretion and subjectivity in the Wood Buffalo National Park Game Regulations, but at some point they changed their mind.
Under the circumstances, it seems Parks Canada could more clearly have advised the committee that it no longer intended to honour its commitments and could have provided an explanation for why it now thinks amendments are not necessary.
These same issues are likely to be discussed in the context of other regulations when Parks Canada appears before the committee on October 18.
This being the case, members may wish to add this file to the agenda for that meeting as well, at least on this first issue. As set out in the note, there are three additional issues.
For the second issue, the regulations previously referred to the “Director-General,” which is an obsolete term. It was suggested to Parks Canada that they amend the regulations to instead refer to the “Superintendent.” Instead, Parks Canada amended the regulations to refer to the “Chief Executive Officer.”
As was then pointed out to Parks Canada, the authority provided by the Canada National Parks Act is to make regulations conferring powers on the superintendent, not on the CEO, so it’s approach does not appear to be authorized.
Parks Canada has said it will address this issue in a miscellaneous amendments regulation package in 2018.
The third issue is that the Parks Canada Agency cited the general enabling power found in section 16 of the act but not the enabling power in section 17, which is specific to Wood Buffalo National Park. Their response on this point is not entirely clear, so clarification could be sought about which aspects of the regulations are made under which authority; or, in the alternative, Parks Canada could simply be asked to confirm that all relevant authorities will be cited for future amendments, not only the more general one.
Finally, subsection 37(2) of the act states that:
. . . permits for hunting, trapping and fishing by members of the Cree Band of Fort Chipewyan in the tradition hunting grounds of Wood Buffalo National Park of Canada shall be issued in accordance with regulations of the Wildlife Advisory Board.
Questions were asked about whether any of the permits issued under the regulations are these types of permits, and Parks Canada’s response on this point is not entirely clear either. It appears they are saying that no permits are issued to such persons for such purposes because of Supreme Court case law.
Parks Canada could be asked if this is correct and, if so, whether it is also correct that section 37 of the act is obsolete and should be repealed.
Those three additional points could be pursued separately.
The Joint Chair (Senator Day): Or we have them in here on October 18.
Ms. Kirkby: We do.
The Joint Chair (Senator Day): They will appear before us?
Ms. Kirkby: Yes.
The Joint Chair (Senator Day): Sometimes it’s a lot easier to get an answer when they’re sitting here looking at you.
Ms. Kirkby: The issues are somewhat different in nature.
The Joint Chair (Senator Day): I understand.
Ms. Kirkby: But we can certainly add the entire file.
The Joint Chair (Senator Day): Make a list. That would be my inclination. They’re here. These are points that we’ve been looking for clarification on, but the correspondence hasn’t been clear, so they can help us with them.
Is that approach satisfactory? That will be the week after break week.
I’d like to change that to “Reply Satisfactory.”
The next item on our agenda is Item No. 4.
SOR/2014-48 — REGULATIONS AMENDING THE LETTER MAIL REGULATIONS
(For text of documents, see Appendix F, p. 40F:1)
SOR/2014-53 — REGULATIONS AMENDING CERTAIN REGULATIONS MADE UNDER THE CANADA POST CORPORATION ACT
(For text of documents, see Appendix G, p. 40G:1)
Ms. Becklumb: I propose to present Items No. 4 and 5 together. They both relate to Canada Post and are very similar.
In relation to each item, issues were first raised in 2014. With regard to Item No. 4, the Letter Mail Regulations, they were to be repealed in their entirety and replaced with new, succinct regulations. Drafting instructions were to be given in the fall 2016.
With regard to Item No. 5, originally promised amendments were to be included in the 2017 regulated rate action, but all of these amendments were put on hold pending the government’s review of Canada Post, which finished earlier this year. In February of this year, Canada Post informed the committee that it now intends to address the committee’s concerns in 2019.
Do you want us to follow up with them or just wait and see what happens?
The Joint Chair (Senator Day): They’ve given us a specific year.
Ms. Kirkby: They did, but it was a while ago that they gave us that information. It might be worth an update.
Ms. Becklumb: We’ll send them a letter asking for progress.
The Joint Chair (Senator Day): That triggers the process we talked about having. We need to know when they said they promised, and then we can go back to them.
Mr. Badawey: I’m really counting on that process to be seamless so that it doesn’t always have to come back here. It’s a template; roll with it. The expectation would then be consistent with the process that we’ve established.
The Joint Chair (Senator Day): Agreed?
Hon. Members: Agreed.
The Joint Chair (Senator Day): Thank you.
Next is Item No. 6.
SOR/2013-122 — REGULATIONS AMENDING CERTAIN REGULATIONS CONCERNING PRESCRIPTION DRUGS (REPEAL OF SCHEDULE F TO THE FOOD AND DRUG REGULATIONS)
(For text of documents, see Appendix H, p. 40H:1.)
Ms. Becklumb: I did ask whether the expression “drug fabricator” used in the regulations should not rather be “drug manufacturer.” The term “drug fabricator” is only used once in the regulations and is undefined. The department examined the regulations and confirmed that the term “drug fabricator” is, indeed, appropriate in that case and that it is based on the term “fabricate,” which is defined. This can be deemed a satisfactory response, and the file can be closed.
The Joint Chair (Senator Day): Are we okay with that?
If you want to avoid the law, you fabricate —
Senator Mégie: If you’ll allow me, must we say “manufacturier de drogues” or “manufacturier de médicaments”?
Ms. Becklumb: We must say “manufacturier de drogues.” Yes, it is the term that is used in the regulations.
Senator Mégie: Alright. I found it strange. To me, the word “drogue” refers to cannabis and the like; in English, we say “drugs,” but in French, we say “médicaments.”
Ms. Becklumb: In this case, the regulations use the term “drogue.” It’s the “Règlement sur les aliments et drogues” of Canada.
The Joint Chair (Senator Day): Is that alright, senator?
Senator Mégie: Yes, it’s fine.
The Joint Chair (Senator Day): Thank you. Does that deal with Items No. 6 and 7?
Ms. Becklumb: Just Item No. 6.
The Joint Chair (Senator Day): On to Item No. 7, then.
SOR/2017-282 — REGULATIONS AMENDING SCHEDULES 2 TO 4 TO THE HUMAN PATHOGENS AND TOXINS ACT
(For text of documents, see Appendix I, p. 40I:1.)
Ms. Kirkby: Two issues were raised concerning compliance with statutory requirements.
First of all, according to subsection 5(1) of the Statutory Instruments Act, a regulations-making authority must transmit a regulation for registration within seven days after its making. These regulations were registered eight days after their making, but Health Canada provided proof that it had transmitted the document for registration within six days after its making. It appears that the statutory requirement has been complied with.
Secondly, under the Human Pathogens and Toxins Act, the minister must consult with an advisory committee before amending the schedule to this act. According to subsection 9(5), the advisory committee must make the advice given to the minister available to the public. Health Canada has identified where the advice given by said committee had been made available to the public, and we’ve included a few pages of this advice in your documents. It appears that this statutory requirement has been complied with as well. Consequently, since there are no other issues, if the members are satisfied, this file can be closed.
The Joint Chair (Senator Day): Are we satisfied to close the file?
Hon. Members: Agreed.
The Joint Chair (Senator Day): This is exciting. It’s always nice to close one.
Next on our agenda is Item No. 8.
SOR/2016-326 — REGULATIONS AMENDING THE CANADIAN EGG MARKETING AGENCY QUOTA REGULATIONS, 1986
(For text of documents, see Appendix J, p. 40J:1.)
Ms. Becklumb: Counsel identified a minor spelling mistake in the English version of Schedule 1.2. of the regulations. The word “eggs” should be singular. One instance of the error has already been corrected, and a second instance will be corrected the next time the schedule is modified. No timeline was given, but in the last three years, I noticed that the schedule was replaced on three occasions. Counsel could monitor the file and follow up if the error is not corrected within a few months.
The Joint Chair (Senator Day): Are we satisfied with that recommendation?
Hon. Members: Agreed.
The Joint Chair (Senator Day): Item No. 9
SOR/2013-254 — REGULATIONS AMENDING THE CANADIAN BROILER HATCHING EGG AND CHICK LICENSING REGULATIONS
SOR/2013-255 — REGULATIONS AMENDING THE CANADIAN BROILER HATCHING EGG AND CHICK ORDERLY MARKETING REGULATIONS
SOR/2013-256 — REGULATIONS AMENDING THE CANADIAN BROILER HATCHING EGG (INTERPROVINCIAL) PRICING REGULATIONS
SOR/2016-290 — REGULATIONS AMENDING THE CANADIAN BROILER HATCHING EGG (INTERPROVINCIAL) PRICING REGULATIONS
SOR/2016-291 — REGULATIONS AMENDING THE CANADIAN BROILER HATCHING EGG AND CHICK LICENSING REGULATIONS
SOR/2016-292 — REGULATIONS AMENDING THE CANADIAN BROILER HATCHING EGG AND CHICK ORDERLY MARKETING REGULATIONS
(For text of documents, see Appendix K, p. 40K:1)
Ms. Kirkby: This item concerns three different broiler hatching egg and chick regulations. In the 2013 amendments, a provision in each of the three regulations indicated that, unless otherwise provided, the definitions in their enabling proclamation apply to them as well. The committee pointed out that this goes without saying because of the general rule to that effect set out in section 16 of the Interpretation Act.
The 2016 amendments repealed the provision from each of the three broiler hatching egg and chick regulations. As a result, all six files can be closed.
The Joint Chair (Senator Day): Excellent.
Do we accept that recommendation?
Hon. Members: Agreed.
The Joint Chair (Senator Day): The last item on our agenda is Item No. 10.
SOR/2014-124 — REGULATIONS AMENDING THE FOOD AND DRUG REGULATIONS (DATA PROTECTION — MISCELLANEOUS PROGRAM)
(For text of documents, see Appendix L, p. 40L:1.)
SOR/2014-125 — REGULATIONS AMENDING THE FOOD AND DRUG REGULATIONS (RETENTION OF RECORDS — MISCELLANEOUS PROGRAM)
(For text of documents, see Appendix M, p. 40M:1.)
Ms. Kirkby: If members agree, I suggest that we discuss the last two files concurrently.
In 2006 and 2007, the committee brought up a few challenges regarding the Food and Drug Regulations. They pertained to drafting issues and the lack of a time period for the retention of records. In 2014, they were amended to address the committee’s concerns. As such, all these files can be closed.
The Joint Chair (Senator Day): Agreed?
Hon. Members: Agreed.
The Joint Chair (Senator Day): That is the end of our agenda. Thank you.
(The committee adjourned.)