Accelerating regulatory approval process would improve Canada's competitiveness

    OTTAWA, Oct. 22 /CNW Telbec/ - Reducing the time needed to approve a
major resource project from its current four-year average would improve
Canada's economic competitiveness. A new Conference Board of Canada report
makes six recommendations to strengthen federal government regulation and
improve federal-provincial coordination in approving resource projects.
    "The goal of regulatory reform is to contribute to regulatory efficiency
without compromising standards or sacrificing effectiveness of oversight. In
its 2007 budget, the federal government set an objective of reducing the time
required to review major resource projects to two years from four," said Len
Coad, Director, Energy, Environment and Transportation Policy. "Some progress
has already been made to improve coordination and to consolidate regulatory
efforts, but more gains are possible."
    The federal government created the Major Projects Management Office
(MPMO) in 2007 to coordinate all aspects of federal regulation related to
major projects. A new Conference Board report, Making Canada More Competitive:
Improving Major Project Regulation in Canada, summarizes the current federal
review process, federal-provincial regulatory relationships, and changes
resulting from the implementation of the MPMO. The six recommendations are:

    - Broaden and strengthen service standards;
    - Extend the use of substitution provisions;
    - Formalize coordination between the MPMO, the Canadian Environmental
      Assessment Agency, and Indian and Northern Affairs Canada;
    - Conduct an independent assessment of the potential to consolidate
    - Conduct an independent assessment of the regulatory models and their
      applicability; and
    - Make better use of codes of practice to harmonize federal and
      provincial standards.

    This report, which is publicly available at, is
published as part of the Conference Board's Cancompete research project.
Cancompete is a three-year program of research and dialogue designed to help
leading decision makers advance Canada on a path of national competitiveness.

For further information:

For further information: Brent Dowdall, Media Relations, (613) 526-3090
ext. 448,

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