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Terms of Reference
The purpose of the Canadian Digital Regulators Forum (the Forum) is for its members (Members) to strengthen information sharing and collaboration on subject matters of common interest that relate to digital markets or platforms. It is an informal means by which Members may exchange best practices, conduct research and market analyses, and problem solve.
The Forum is formed in recognition that its Members can expand their regulatory capacities and are better able to fulfill their individual mandates through increased partnership and cooperation.
The purpose of these Terms of Reference (TOR) is to set out a framework respecting the cooperation and coordination of Forum activities.
The Forum was established on June 8, 2023 by the heads (Member Heads) of the following three (3) federal agencies:
- Competition Bureau Canada (CB);
- The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (OPC); and
- The Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC).
Eligibility for Participation in the Forum
By agreement among all existing Members, other relevant Canadian agencies may be invited to join the Forum or attend meetings on an ad hoc basis.
The Forum is led by a Chair that rotates annually and is determined by unanimous agreement of Member Heads. The Chair is a Member Head with responsibility for setting, in consultation with other Members, Forum strategic priorities, agendas and deadlines, presiding over Member Head meetings, and obtaining agreement from Members on Forum activities. The Chair is supported by a Secretariat and Core Working Group.
The Secretariat is an employee from the Chair’s agency and is responsible for organizing meetings and circulating relevant documents. Each Member will designate an employee to serve as a main point of contact for coordination with the Secretariat.
The Core Working Group is comprised of relevant senior officials and employees from each Member agency.
Forum participation is voluntary. It is not a statutory or an incorporated body and does not provide formal advice or direction to Member agencies, which remain individually accountable for the fulfilment of their mandates. No decisions or activities relating to the Forum’s TOR are intended to be binding on Members.
Meetings between Member Heads will occur 1-2 times per fiscal year. These meetings will confirm priorities and workplans based on the recommendations of the Core Working Group, and share recent accomplishments and ongoing work.
The Core Working Group will aim to meet quarterly to update Members on relevant developments, share knowledge, seek support, and advance agreed-upon priorities and objectives.
With the agreement of Members, the Chair may invite stakeholders to observe meetings or present on issues relating to digital policy areas of mutual interest.
The Chair or Secretariat may call ad hoc meetings as deemed necessary, including at the request of the Members.
6. Scope of Activities and Outputs
The Forum provides opportunities for a wide range of collaboration between Members. These include:
Roles and Responsibilities
Members agree to prioritize and develop a shared understanding of each other’s roles, responsibilities, and governing legislation as they relate to digital markets and/or platforms.
Information and Data Sharing
Members agree, where appropriate, to share data and information on work relating to digital markets or platforms that would be of value to the broader group. This may include sharing relevant proposals or information about upcoming initiatives; non-confidential submissions made to consultations by Members; as well as key research or market analysis materials.
Members may, within their existing authorities and where appropriate, share information about enforcement activities that relate to the shared regulatory mandate of Members, with the aim of raising mutual awareness and promoting cooperation in the activities of Members. Notwithstanding the above, enforcement actions undertaken by Members with respect to Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) will continue to be conducted pursuant to the Memorandum of Understanding for cooperation, coordination and information sharing between the Commissioner of Competition, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission and the Privacy Commissioner of Canada regarding the implementation of their mandates under Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation.
Seeking Opportunities for Enhanced Collaboration
Members agree, in principle, to work collectively on issues of shared interest or relating to a common challenge. Individual Members can propose issues to collaborate on to the broader group in Forum meetings.
Collaboration can include Members sharing experiences, capabilities, research, resources, or employee training opportunities. Opportunities to foster collaboration may include inviting relevant employees of Members to attend conferences or speaking engagements, as well as encouraging secondments between agencies.
Members agree, where appropriate, to work collaboratively as legislative changes arise in relation to the digital economy.
The Forum will review the TOR as deemed necessary, such as upon changes to membership. Any term of the TOR may be amended at any time with the consent of each Member.
Privacy Commissioner of
Chairperson and Chief
Executive Officer, CRTC