Read the Regulatory Impact Analysis Statement

Since 1986 almost all federal Canadian regulations have included a Regulatory Impact Analysis Statement (RIAS) following the text of the regulation.

Why should you read the RIAS? Unlike acts, you will not find a discussion of new regulations in Hansard. The RIAS tells you what the rationale was for a given regulation and what it was expected to achieve. A RIAS is usually divided into five sections: issue and objectives; description and rationale; consultation; implementation, enforcement, and service standards; and contact information.

Another benefit of Regulatory Impact Analysis Statements is that they are written for a range of readers. The target readers for the RIAS are “parliamentarians, ministers, TBS officials, members of the legal community, affected parties, and interested members of the public”. As a result, the instructions for writing a RIAS emphasize the use of clear language, stating that it should “be understandable to anyone who may wish to read it.”

Susannah Tredwell (@hannasus)

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