REGS Committee Report
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The Standing Joint Committee for the Scrutiny of Regulations has the honour to present its
Your committee reports that in relation to its permanent reference, section 19 of the Statutory Instruments Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. S-22, the committee was previously empowered “to study the means by which Parliament can better oversee the government regulatory process and in particular to enquire into and report upon:
1. the appropriate principles and practices to be observed
(a) in the drafting of powers enabling delegates of Parliament to make subordinate laws;
(b) in the enactment of statutory instruments;
(c) in the use of executive regulation — including delegated powers and subordinate laws;
and the manner in which Parliamentary control should be effected in respect of the same;
2. the role, functions and powers of the Standing Joint Committee for the Scrutiny of Regulations.”
Your committee recommends that the same order of reference, together with the evidence adduced thereon during previous sessions, be again referred to it.
Your committee informs both Houses of Parliament that the criteria it will use for the review and scrutiny of statutory instruments are the following:
Whether any regulation or other statutory instrument within its terms of reference, in the judgment of the committee:
1. is not authorized by the terms of the enabling legislation or has not complied with any condition set forth in the legislation;
2. is not in conformity with the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms or the Canadian Bill of Rights;
3. purports to have retroactive effect without express authority having been provided for in the enabling legislation;
4. imposes a charge on the public revenues or requires payment to be made to the Crown or to any other authority, or prescribes the amount of any such charge or payment, without express authority having been provided for in the enabling legislation;
5. imposes a fine, imprisonment or other penalty without express authority having been provided for in the enabling legislation;
6. tends directly or indirectly to exclude the jurisdiction of the courts without express authority having been provided for in the enabling legislation;
7. has not complied with the Statutory Instruments Act;
8. appears for any reason to infringe the rule of law;
9. trespasses unduly on rights and liberties;
10. makes the rights and liberties of the person unduly dependent on administrative discretion or is not consistent with the rules of natural justice;
11. makes some unusual or unexpected use of the powers conferred by the enabling legislation;
12. amounts to the exercise of a substantive legislative power properly the subject of direct parliamentary enactment; or
13. is defective in its drafting or for any other reason requires elucidation as to its form or purport.
Your committee recommends that its quorum be fixed at four members, provided that both Houses are represented whenever a vote, resolution or other decision is taken, and that the joint chairs be authorized to hold meetings to receive evidence and authorize the publishing thereof so long as three members are present, provided that both Houses are represented; and, that your committee have power to engage the services of such expert staff, and such stenographic and clerical staff as may be required.
Your committee further recommends to the Senate that it be empowered to sit during sittings and adjournments of the Senate.
Your committee, which was also authorized by the Senate to incur expenses in connection with its permanent reference relating to the review and scrutiny of statutory instruments, reports, pursuant to rule 12-26(2) of the Rules of the Senate, that the expenses of your committee (Senate portion) during the First Session of the Forty-Second Parliament are as follows:
During the First Session of the Forty-third Parliament the committee was not created and therefore did not incur any expenses.
A copy of the relevant Minutes of Proceedings (Meeting No. 1) is tabled in the House of Commons.