In February 2011, President Obama and Prime Minister Harper launched the Canada-United States Regulatory Cooperation Council (RCC). The RCC’s goal is to facilitate closer regulatory cooperation between our two countries and enhance economic competitiveness by aligning our regulatory systems where appropriate while maintaining high levels of protection for health, safety and the environment. The RCC was formed recognizing that regulatory differences and duplicative procedures impose unnecessary requirements and costs on our citizens, businesses and economies.
In December 2011, an initial RCC Joint Action Plan – comprised of 29 initiatives – was launched to explore new approaches to regulatory cooperation between Canada and the U.S. The Action Plan informed how regulatory cooperation could be undertaken in a more compressive way between U.S. agencies and Canadian departments. This led to the release of RCC Joint Forward Plan in August 2014 and served as a pivot point enabling a new approach to regulatory cooperation through:
New senior level bi-national governance and leadership between federal regulatory partners;
Establishing an RCC specific work planning process; and
Creation of new channels for stakeholders to meet with senior officials to inform longer-term regulatory priorities and with technical working groups on the development of annual work plans.
The details of this work are outlined in 12Regulatory Partnership Statements (RPS) released in May, 2015 between 16 similarly mandated departments and agencies. These federal regulators also released their bi-nationalwork plans that cover regulatory sectors such as health products, food safety, transportation safety, aquaculture, work place safety and environmental initiatives.