Canada Needs Its “New Approach” to Streamline Digital Rulemaking

CIGI Paper No. 278

July 24, 2023

Canada’s current approach to rulemaking is not keeping pace with the deployment of new digital technologies. This paper proposes to modernize the Statutory Instruments Act to bridge that gap, suggesting that mandatory standards, technical specifications and conformity assessment programs should be recognized as statutory instruments alongside regulations. This borrows from the European Union’s “New Approach” established in 1985, whereby regulators can request that EU standards bodies develop mandatory standards as a compliance mechanism to laws, even while legislation is being drafted. Streamlining rulemaking is essential to help manage the harms associated with digital technologies as soon as possible after they are commercialized.

About the Author

Michel Girard is a CIGI senior fellow and an expert in the area of standards for big data and artificial intelligence.