To better understand the role regulation will play in innovation, Natural Resources Canada asked Pollution Probe and QUEST to facilitate two National Dialogue Sessions to support the International Smart Grid Action Network (ISGAN)’s work on developing frameworks for regulatory innovation and regulatory sandboxes. ISGAN is one of the Technology Collaboration Programmes of the International Energy Agency. As an active participant in this programme, Canada used the opportunity to better understand the frameworks emerging nationally and internationally for regulatory experimentation and regulatory sandboxes. This improved understanding could support policy makers and regulators to accelerate the transition to clean energy systems.
The National Dialogues were built upon QUEST and Pollution Probe’s Innovation Sandbox initiative and featured a diverse group of participants from jurisdictions across the country. Three key takeaways from these sessions emerged on Canada’s regulatory landscape.
First, there is still a strong desire to have meaningful conversations and collaboration among various stakeholders. Despite COVID-related online-engagement fatigue and the challenges of designing interactive online workshop sessions, participants were enthusiastic to examine the barriers to regulatory innovation in Canada and had a rich conversation.
Second, from the participants, there was a broad consensus that:
Although these observations are not new to those already involved in the regulatory innovation space in Canada, these sessions did highlight that there is a consensus amongst national participants from across Canada on what needs to be done. We now just need to do it.
Our work on these National Dialogue Sessions has helped inform ISGAN’s recommendations to the Clean Energy Ministerial. As part of QUEST and Pollution Probe’s work on Innovation Sandboxes, and furthering low-carbon targets, we are also working to identify Canadian jurisdictions interested in developing tailored roadmaps for Innovation Sandboxes. These policy tools can be instrumental in accelerating the transition to net-zero — stay tuned for more news or contact us if your jurisdiction would benefit from an Innovation Sandbox.
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