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Canada Needs a New Approach to Digital Rule Making

Yesterday, the Honourable Senators Colin Deacon and Yuen Pau Woo, in partnership with the Centre for International Governance Information (CIGI), invited CIGI Senior Fellow, Michel Girard, to provide a brief to parliamentarians on his recent paper, “Canada Needs Its ‘New Approach’ to Streamline Digital Rulemaking.”

The panel and subsequent discussion focused on Canada’s current approach to rulemaking, which is not keeping pace with the deployment of new digital technologies, such as artificial intelligence, self-driving vehicles, and 3D printing. Parliamentarians were called upon to act now to modernize the Statutory Instruments Act and address gaps in policies that permit consequential technologies to flourish without regulatory oversight.

“Canada’s legislative machinery was not designed to keep pace with digital technologies. We must modernize our laws to recognize standards, technical specifications, and conformity assessment programs as statutory instruments under the Statutory Instruments Act,” said CIGI Senior Fellow, Michel Girard.

Senator Woo said, “Canada is lagging peers when it comes to regulatory modernization. In the European Union, regulators have worked with standards bodies to streamline rulemaking since the 1980s. These tools are essential to stave off harms associated with the rapid commercialization of emerging technologies.”

Senator Deacon said, “The regulatory process in Canada is no longer fit-for-purpose for the rapidly accelerating digital era. We regulate in decades, whereas technology now evolves in months. Recognizing standards and other tools in the regulatory process enables a more agile, stakeholder-led mechanism to adjust quickly to market realities, keep Canadians safe, and enable businesses to operate with confidence.”



For More information please contact :

Dylan Odd, Office of Senator Yuen Pau Woo. Telephone: 613-219 -0905 Email: Dylan.Odd@sen.parl.gc.ca

David Dlab, Office of Senator Colin Deacon. Telephone: 343-551-3436 Email: David.Dlab@sen.parl.gc.ca

Rebecca MacIntyre, CIGI. Telephone: 647-861-6800 Email: Rmacintyre@cigionline.orgv