Resource Details
Tools
Resource Sections
Errors / Omissions?

Do you see an error or want to contribute? Please contact us, or register and submit your links.

Mailing List
Subscribe to our newsletter and receive regular updates on new features, new policy areas, announcements, and more.

HomePolicy Articles Article Summary

At Risk: How the Federal Government’s Deregulation Agenda Threatens Health and Environmental Standards

Research Report by Marc Lee, Bruce Campbell

Lee and Campbell examine the question: Is there really an economic case to be made for deregulation? They weigh the benefits against the risks to public health and environmental protection, as well as the potential loss of decision-making responsibility to corporate interests. The authors decidedly suggest that deregulation is much more harmful than beneficial. In particular, they see corporate interests superseding the public good in instances of applying the precautionary principle (such as risk management); faster approval of drugs and chemicals, creating a greater risk for Canadians and the environment; and outsourcing, which undermines democratic decision-making.

The precautionary principle- err on the side of caution when scientific uncertainty exists- has been compromised by risk management which demands evidence of substantial harm before regulation is put in place. This gives rise to economic interests that are adversely affected by regulation. Instead, Lee and Campbell see a need for more stringent regulation, particularly with the neo-conservative environment that has presided since the 1980s, highlighted by the federal government’s 2005 Smart Regulation Action Plan that expands the hurdles to the introduction of new regulation. This is being coupled with “regulatory cooperation,” which attempts to harmonize regulation procedures across North America and reduce the costs to business trade.

The authors stress that this slide is not inevitable and argue for a more involved approach as in the EU, which has brought new regulations into play concerning the environment. Further, there is little evidence that regulation has negative effects on the economy. According to the authors, American studies have indicated that the benefits of regulation to the public greatly exceed costs to business. Lee and Campbell suggest the federal government put in practice more the precautionary principle and greater resources so that regulation in place can be properly enforced.

(Added: Sat Mar 10 2007 Hits: 130 Rating: 0.00 Votes: 0)   Rate It   Review It


Policy Publication Details

Author(s): Marc Lee; Bruce Campbell;
Publisher: Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives [ Visit Website ]
Year Published: 2006; Publisher Type: Research Institute
Publicly Available: Yes Research Focus: National;
Registration Required: No Language: English
Payment Required: No Publication Format: Adobe PDF

Subjects / Categories:

Policy Articles / International Trade, Development & Finance / North American Free Trade Agreement
Policy Articles / International Trade, Development & Finance / North American Integration
Policy Articles / Labour & Markets / Investment
Policy Articles / Labour & Markets / Regulations & Recruitment
Policy Articles / Labour & Markets / Working Conditions
Policy Articles / International Trade, Development & Finance
Policy Articles / Labour & Markets
Policy Articles / International Trade, Development & Finance / North American Free Trade Agreement / 2006
Policy Articles / International Trade, Development & Finance / North American Integration / 2006
Policy Articles / Labour & Markets / Investment / 2006
Policy Articles / Labour & Markets / Regulations & Recruitment / 2006
Policy Articles / Labour & Markets / Working Conditions / 2006


Keywords / Tags:

deregulation; smart regulation; regulatory cooperation; international trade agreements; harmonization; corporate interests; risk management; environment; health;