Measurement Canada's strategic vision for 2021-2026 explains how we plan to expand and redefine our role in the Canadian marketplace. The following four supporting pillars of our strategic vision show the steps that we are committed to taking in order to effectively respond to the changing needs of the Canadian marketplace:
- protecting Canadian consumers by ensuring the integrity and accuracy of trade measurement in Canada
- increasing our visibility and Canadians' awareness of the importance of trade measurement accuracy for supply chains and consumers
- preparing our organization for the emerging digital and data-driven economy
- investing in our organization
To continue to excel as a world-class regulator that enables innovation and ensures a fair and competitive marketplace for Canadians
1. Protecting Canadian consumers by ensuring the integrity and accuracy of trade measurement in Canada
- Adoption of a more responsive, effective, and risk-based oversight and enforcement model
What we will do
- Focus our oversight and enforcement activities on a marketplace monitoring model as opposed to mandated inspections
- Collect and analyze data to have a more effective risk-based model
- Continue to work with and provide guidance to authorized service providers to carry out mandatory inspections
- Continue to recognize competent testing laboratories around the world
Moving to a risk-based oversight and enforcement model
In today's economy, it's more important than ever for us to move toward a risk-based model. We'll collect and analyze data to identify problem areas and use it for monitoring and inspection and enforcement activities.
Current mandatory inspections help ensure compliance among some of Canada's trade sectors, and it has been shown that these inspections can be carried out by authorized service providers.
We must use and expand mandatory inspections so that resources and inspectors can be used for marketplace monitoring and risk-based inspections in areas that have a lower level of compliance or in emerging trade areas where consumers are vulnerable to measurement inaccuracies.
2. Increasing our visibility and Canadians' awareness of the importance of trade measurement accuracy for supply chains and consumers
- Increased presence in the Canadian marketplace and with the Canadian public
What we will do
- Equip our inspectors to increase our visibility
- Develop and implement a comprehensive communications plan and stakeholder engagement strategy with the goal of increasing Canadians' understanding of the importance of trade measurement accuracy to ensure a fair and competitive marketplace
Increasing our public visibility
We protect consumers and businesses, and help to promote economic growth by verifying the accuracy of the devices and systems used to measure goods throughout various supply chains. We work to ensure measurement accuracy from wholesale right through to commercial and retail transactions.
Currently, the general public and many Canadian businesses are either unaware that we exist or unaware of our mandate.
We're working toward increasing our visibility, while informing the public of the importance of trade measurement accuracy for Canadian supply chains and consumers.
We'll also increase our presence at industry trade shows and our communications with local chambers of commerce, and make ourselves more recognizable to the public through work clothes and vehicles that feature our corporate signature.
3. Preparing our organization for the emerging digital economy
- The digital infrastructure that we require to be an effective regulator in the emerging digital economy is in place
- Our employees have the necessary digital tools to modernize our services in the field
- Our laws and regulations have been modernized and allow us to be more adaptive and responsive as new trade sectors emerge
What we will do
- Continue to consolidate and modernize outdated data systems
- Provide inspectors and authorized service providers with the tools and resources they need to ensure the integrity of data
- Continue to convert all paper processes to digital ones
- Provide laboratory personnel and inspectors with new technology to facilitate their work
3.1 A modern digital data architecture is crucial to proactive intervention in the marketplace
A major part of our modernization plan is to replace our legacy applications used to report approval testing and inspection results with a modern digital architecture.
With a new digital data architecture in place, we'll be able to analyze and use the data collected by our laboratories, our inspectors and authorized service providers to proactively intervene in the marketplace.
This is a crucial part of adopting a risk-based model, where a modern digital data architecture allows for analysis of compliance trends.
3.2 Working on regulatory and legislative modernization
We're taking steps toward adopting an approach to developing regulations that will allow us to adapt to the emerging digital and data-driven economy. We need to put in place a more flexible regulatory framework that allows for the timely adoption of regulations within new and emerging sectors.
The Weights and Measures Act and the Electricity and Gas Inspection Act require significant review and changes in order for us to become a more flexible regulator for all trade measurement sectors. We're taking a multifaceted approach that includes an internal regulatory review and participation in government-wide initiatives. We are proposing legislative changes to ensure we have increased flexibility so we can respond to new technologies in a timely manner and encourage, rather than hinder, innovation and progress.
Regulatory modernization can be a lengthy process, but we're already making progress. Our proposals to modernize our regulations and practices are outlined in the regulatory review roadmaps for clean technology and digitalization and technology-neutral regulations. We're also participating in several government-wide initiatives, including the annual regulatory modernization bill which will enable us to remove outdated and redundant legislative requirements.
Our goal is to make Canada's regulatory framework for trade measurement more adaptable, agile and responsive to the needs of industry, businesses and consumers.
3.3 New tools and technologies will transform the way that we provide our services
To continue to excel as a world-class regulator, we must invest in emerging digital tools and technology to make our employees as capable and efficient as possible.
Effective databases are crucial to our success as a risk-based regulator. We must be able to track and analyze data effectively in both the weights and measures program as well as the electricity and gas program. We'll also begin to use digital tools and new laboratory equipment to upload data in real time.
4. Investing in our organization
- Industry-specific knowledge is passed down to the new generation as experienced employees depart
- Our organization's knowledge has been expanded beyond our traditional realm of expertise
- Expanded training programs and increased resources allow our staff to keep up with emerging technologies
- Continued cooperation with other government departments and the international trade measurement community
What we will do
- Continue to facilitate knowledge transfer to maintain and improve the technical expertise of new employees
- Continue to pursue a mentorship program that partners new employees with experienced ones
- Increase the diversity of our workforce
- Recruit staff with an increased range of knowledge and skills in the fields of economics, instrumentation and computer science
- Continue to revamp our training program to make it more effective and accessible to our employees across the country
- Continue to participate in joint working groups and committees within the public service and the international trade community
4.1 Focusing on increased expertise and a culture of knowledge transfer
It's essential that government agencies that rely on specialized expertise find a way to retain skills and knowledge within the organization.
We're aware of this coming challenge, and have implemented mentorship programs that match experienced employees with new or less experienced ones. Ensuring that this expert knowledge is passed on through a working relationship is key to our future success as a regulator.
Traditionally, our focus has always been on the technical expertise that we provide; however, in order to continue to excel as a world-class regulator and innovation enabler, we must increase the range of skill sets to other fields such as economics and computer science to guide our modernization plan.
4.2 Modernizing our training program
Our employee training program will help us to continue to excel as a world-class regulator and innovation enabler.
With an established team of instructors, we'll be able to offer our employees regular and consistent training to ensure our staff has the necessary skill sets to accomplish their duties.
We are also taking steps to ensure that in the short-term we have a plan in place to deal with positions that become unexpectedly vacant, particularly ones that require technical expertise and experience. We'll ensure that we have additional designated employees with the required skills and experience to prevent any delays in service.
4.3 Working with our partners to provide the best service possible
We are currently active in various working groups to increase our presence in the international legal metrology community, as well as to contribute to the development of consistent international standards and requirements.
We must continue to strengthen our relationship with other government departments and international testing laboratories. Our work with organizations such as the Competition Bureau, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Health Canada and the National Research Council is key to developing a coordinated consumer protection approach for Canadians.
Finally, we must continue to be actively involved in trade sector consultations regarding the regulation of emerging technologies to ensure continued measurement accuracy in the Canadian marketplace.