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Natural Resources Canada’s Policy on Providing Guidance on Regulatory Requirements

The Natural Resources Canada (NRCan)’s Policy on Providing Guidance on Regulatory Requirements (the policy) outlines commitments, practices and tools that NRCan will apply so that the public and regulated communities can understand:

  • regulations associated with NRCan and the obligations they establish.
  • how NRCan responds to enquiries about regulations
  • how the public and regulated entities will be engaged when NRCan reviews or plans to change regulations.

This policy applies only to NRCan and regulations that are under NRCan’s oversight. Please refer to the portfolio agencies website for details on their policy.

Departmental Context

NRCan develops policies, programs, acts, and regulations that enhance the contribution of the natural resources sector to the economy, improve the quality of life for all Canadians and conducts innovative science in facilities across Canada to generate ideas and transfer technologies.

NRCan also represents Canada at the international level to meet the country's global commitments related to the sustainable development of natural resources. NRCan leads Canada’s participation in international standard-settings and regulatory cooperations on the management of natural resources.

Building awareness of regulatory requirements

NRCan is committed to communicating with the public and regulated entities to improve their awareness of regulatory requirements. Depending on the nature of the regulations, this information can include general information, frequently asked questions, reports and news releases.

NRCan has made the following information available through its Acts and Regulations webpage:

NRCan’s Forward Regulatory Plan includes information on future public consultation activities which include the Regulatory Stock Review Plan that contains a public list and description of planned reviews of regulations that Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) is proposing within the next two fiscal years.

While the Regulatory Cooperation Council  provides information on regulatory cooperation activities that NRCan is leading on energy efficiency standards, natural gas use in transportation and the classification of explosives as well as The Canada-United States Regulatory Cooperation Council.

NRCan has made public consultation an integral part of the department’s policy, program and regulation development to reflect Canadians’ priorities and interests. Public consultations on NRCan programs and activities can be accessed on NRCan’s Public Consultations webpage. Upcoming or ongoing consultations on proposed federal regulations are published on Consulting with Canadians website. NRCan also publishes its new statutes, new and proposed regulations, administrative board decisions and public notices in the Canada Gazette which is the official newspaper of the Government of Canada. 

Responding to enquiries

NRCan commits to providing timely, accurate, clear, objective and complete information and guidance in response to stakeholder inquiries regarding regulations, in the official language of their choice.

In general, responses are offered in the form that inquiries are made, whether verbally or in writing. Common/frequent inquiries may be responded to through FAQs as available in the Contact Us page which can be selected based on the options in the Email Form.

Other enquiries about regulations may be addressed to:

General enquiries:
Toll-free in Canada: 1-855-525-9293
Telephone: 343-292-6096

Members of the media may contact Media Relations:
Toll-free in Canada: 1-855-862-1809
Telephone: 343-292-6100

NRCan publishes the contact information of NRCan officials in its regulatory plans. Enquiries about initiatives identified in these plans may be addressed to these officials.

NRCan will endeavour to acknowledge receipt of all inquiries regarding regulations within two business days and assign them to appropriate NRCan officials for review. NRCan aims to respond to enquiries in the official language and in the verbal or written form that enquiries are submitted, unless requested otherwise. NRCan will inform the requestor if more time will be required to respond to an enquiry, depending on:

  • the complexity and completeness of a question
  • the need for consultations

Responses to stakeholder inquiries are not intended to be legally binding on NRCan.

NRCan staff do not provide legal advice about how specific regulations may apply to particular circumstances. In instances where the regulatory authority is not NRCan or where another federal department or agency is better positioned to respond to a stakeholder inquiry, NRCan will refer the inquiry to the appropriate entity.

NRCan monitors trends in the questions it receives about regulations. It uses these trends to develop and update information on its website on key regulations. Information on regulations that do not have business impacts are not routinely provided such as administrative amendments to regulations to improve language clarity.

Commitment to professional service

NRCan commits to excellence in service when dealing with all stakeholders, by providing professional, courteous and respectful service. NRCan is committed to responding to enquiries in a comprehensive, timely and respectful manner.

To fulfill this commitment, NRCan directs the enquiries it receives to the officials who have the necessary skills and knowledge to provide a professional service and accurate information.

If stakeholders are not satisfied with the guidance they have received from NRCan staff respecting regulatory requirements, they should begin by contacting the staff member to see if it is possible for them to clarify or amplify the guidance. If unresolved, stakeholders may contact the staff member’s supervisor.

NRCan will also address feedback or concerns raised by stakeholders related to their understanding of regulatory requirements through existing feedback processes through its Contact Us page, which include a contact line for general inquiries, a FAQs page, and information on NRCan’s public consultations.

NRCan commits to ensuring that staff responding to inquiries have the necessary skills and technical knowledge to provide quality service and accurate information on regulatory requirements. In instances where another federal department or agency is better positioned to respond to a stakeholder inquiry, NRCan staff will refer the inquiry to the appropriate entity.

Stakeholder engagement

NRCan is committed to engaging with the public and regulated entities where appropriate and using their feedback in developing, reviewing, amending, repealing and implementing regulations and for providing information and guidance on regulatory compliance and answering questions.

NRCan communicates regularly with its stakeholders through a variety of means in the regulatory development process and to ensure awareness of regulatory compliance requirements which include:

  • web consultations
  • round-table discussions
  • advisory committees
  • outreach events
  • responses to enquiries (telephone and email)

NRCan leverages public opinions and insights shared through the Government of Canada’s Consulting with Canadians website and NRCan’s Public consultations and engagements webpage to inform the development of its policies, programs, and regulations.

Frequency of updates

NRCan will update this policy, as required, to improve how it builds awareness of regulatory requirements, responds to enquiries and engages stakeholders.

Date of last revision

April 3, 2024

For more information

Consult the following for links to the Cabinet Directive on Regulation and supporting policies and guidance, and for information on government-wide regulatory initiatives implemented by departments and agencies across the Government of Canada:

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