Tan Sukhera 0:03
Everybody, welcome to Canadian regulatory fireside chats. Now, before the pandemic gr folks used to get together, especially on Fridays at lunchtime, and they used to network and they would learn from their peers and troubleshoot different issues brush up on tips. But now that’s unfortunately a thing of the past. And it’s in this spirit that we started Canadian regulatory fireside chats. Now there’s been a massive lack of information out there in our social media feeds about the fantastic work that people in the space are actually up to. So we’re really proud to be part of the solution here. And really, this series is meant to be a platform for a Champions of industry, from government relations, policy, Regulatory Affairs teams, to be able to share their take on best practices, overcoming challenges, and educating others. And if you’re a fan of the chats, like, please feel free to like share, join into the conversation. So for some of the people who are not familiar here, there’s a little bit of housekeeping rules to go over. It’s a 30 minute session, there’s a q&a portion in the chat like if you go and you can try and locate that now in the in the zoom chat, you’ll be able to see the q&a you can go you can use that button there to add any questions that you’ve got. The recording will be shared after the event. And if you’re a person who likes to live tweet, of course, the hashtag add hashtag fireside chats, and you can always tag us at No, it’s gn o wi T. And if you’re interested in becoming a speaker, you can always send us an email email@example.com is always different topics, industries. And really the the whole goal is to share as much insights as possible. And on that note, I am your host tansa kara, I’m the VP of insights at no at Inc. And you know, just a quick note, we are always looking to improve and we’re eager to learn and welcome feedback. So, you know, please feel free to reach out at any time. Now, this talk is powered by NOAA Inc. And for those who don’t know, we’re a media regulatory and business intelligence company. We use AI and machine learning to actively search federal, provincial municipal government sources of information online. And this includes things like the Hansard, the parliament, the gazettes, committees, debates, request for consultations, all the regulatory bodies, and government agencies, and so much more. And you can visit www.att.com for more information. Now, it’s that time where I get the pleasure of introducing our speaker for today, Julio. So Julia is a professional engineer that’s worked for several industry associations, including electricity, fertilizer and fuel sectors, in progressive Regulatory Affairs roles over the last 12 years. Now she’s LED and supported regulatory development on environmental transportation, health and safety, security issues that were super critical to successful policy development, and implementation. Now, starting off her career as environmental engineering supervisor at a local steel mill, Julia actually has experienced many facets of regulatory compliance, and really what it means when the regulatory rubber hits the road. So without any further ado, take it away, Julia.
Giulia Brutesco 3:09
Wonderful tan, that was a wonderful introduction. Thank you so much, you know, for inviting me to speak at your node fireside chat series. This is such a great initiative to bring together different perspectives in such a common discussion in Ottawa. There’s just so many different angles to explore. And when we talk about government relations and regulatory development, so I find that you know, my perspective on gr and regulatory development tends to be a little bit different from most folks I’ve worked with. So this might be way off base. However, I have absolutely seen many successes in
in achieving changes at all stages of the regulatory development. So pre consultation, CG one, post CG two, so I thought it might be insightful to talk about some of these strategies. So I’m just going to just take a moment here and share my screen, I do have a few slides to to offer just to help guide the conversation. But certainly I do hope this is helpful and always happy to have a conversation about strategy and getting in perspective. So really looking forward to the q&a session at the end of this.
So brief, just you know, just briefly what I’m going to talk about today, just a brief intro, I think, Chad, you’ve hit, you’ve hit my bio perfectly there. So I’ll be able to kind of flip through that real really quickly in my presentation, but I just want to touch on a few, you know, a few key subjects. So government relations, how we define that Regulatory Affairs, what does that mean? diving a little bit more into the constructive relationships and, you know, building that out at all levels of government. And then also, I want to also share a bit of
excuse me the some of the delay tactic or tactics that actually end up delaying your the progress of the regular
toward development, and then recapping with a few key takeaways, you know, at least of at least what I’ve seen, certainly. So I,
I am, as Jen mentioned, I am a professional engineer, I studied environmental engineering. So many of the files that I’ve worked on were very environmentally focused, dabbled in some of those other areas as well.
You know, they the, the files that I’ve managed and led, I’ve been very technically heavy in contact, putting content and complex in nature, but much of my career has been to translate these issues into simplified explanations and solution proposals.
So, you know, having worked with a steel mill, I’ve, I’ve understood and have gained a really strong perspective for the compliance component of regulations of what it means to the industry. And then switching gears to more of the policy development and advocacy and what it means to develop regulations that are effective, you know, are intended to meet the policy goals, but are also, you know, written in a way that are,
you know, that that that offers that feasibility and that innovation that we’re looking for.
So I’m presenting today, again, some of my experiences, and how different approaches involving different levels of government can yield very specific results, particularly the conversations and worked on at the bureaucratic level. So director ish level envelope.
So the few, you know, few things I just kind of want to touch on today is, you know, building those relationships with all levels. And the importance of that, looking for solutions and not just identifying problems when we’re when we’re developing these regulations. But also viewing meetings with more senior government levels, a way of tying hands as opposed to overpowering lower level file leads. And to be clear, my perspective comes from an industry association lens and very focused on the federal government regulations.
So when we refer to government relations, it’s so often that we’re talking about meetings with the higher level, you know, the higher level discussion so senior officials, Minister officers, or chief chief of staff’s policy advisors, MPs, opposition representatives, in some cases, etc. These these discussions tend to focus more on policy goals and overall direction, and there’s little discussion as to how so how are these goals going to be met? You know, it all sounds great. But if there’s no way of actually achieving it, you know, what’s the point?
Don’t get me wrong. So you know, we do need to know what we’re trying to achieve. So those clear goals are very important, and they definitely need to be realistic, you know, as much as possible. I’ve always found it very hard to have meaningful discussions at this level without really understanding the plan of how government expects to achieve these goals.
In representing specific industry, you know, how do we represent the needs of our members if we don’t really know how they fit into the big picture. So what portion of this goal is going to fall on a particular industry or a particular area.
So the goals are very broad, idealistic, and it’s sometimes too hard to imagine how they connect to the way the way things currently operate.
The other challenge is that once a policy is set, or a target is set, it’s very difficult to change the details of how you get there become increasingly more important.
So government has done an excellent job of promoting the guiding principle of science based and data supported policy. While I have seen some questionable science and data at the end of the day, it will always support policy goals. And I think Gabrielle gehlot mentioned this in her talk and said it best that regulations really do offer the government an opportunity to be nimble. They’re very specific to an issue or an industry. And this is where, of course the rubber hits the road in terms of the actions that intend to achieve those policy goals. So legislation is enabling intends to reflect high level principles, which are very open to interpretation, depending on the industry, which makes that you know, that changes at this level. While the changes at this level are certainly a very lengthy process, it doesn’t necessarily provide that clarity on those specific actions either. So the success of everything, at least in my view is on how the regulations written down right, well designed regulations can drive innovation and economic opportunities. poorly designed regulations have the potential to go as far as damage the economy.
So who are we talking to? So to ensure regulations are written in the most strategic way, building strong relationships with issue leads is extremely important. So these are the folks that are designing and drafting right?
Illinois principles in determining those specific actions. Getting this Right, absolutely crucial and ensuring that they have the right information to design these principles is a primary goal of developing these relationships.
But Julia, you asked, If we talk to senior officials, can’t they make changes in the process? I suppose that depends. You know, if the policy goals are negotiable, then Absolutely, absolutely. But if they aren’t, you know, these these conversations will be very fruitful, how will they be able to guide the nuances of regulatory development when they are not the experts in the in the field in which they’re regulated?
So I want to offer, you know, a few, you know, a few examples, starting with one the clean fuel regulation. So this was a policy. This was a regulation that was published earlier this year. And the purpose of this regulation was to help Canada meet its 2030 GHG reduction targets under Canvas climate plan.
So, you know, so many more examples that I had drafted and had to take out due to time restrictions and of course I was worried that I wasn’t gonna have enough to talk about which I’m sure many of the speakers have also experienced. But I am absolutely grateful to have had the opportunity to share these with you today. Tan thank you so much again for reaching out and inviting me to speak on this I feel like this kind of gr is not always talked about. I understand it’s very detail heavy and I do apologize for that. But these are important components to successful regulatory development.
Giulia Brutesco 11:00
The targets and timing were frighteningly ambitious and more set in stone. And multiple meetings with the minister’s office made that very, very clear. So left to interpretation, the way the the sort of the policy goals were laid out, industry to not see a way of complying, it was terrifying in all honesty,
Giulia Brutesco 11:22
but it’s the details of the CFR that will describe the expectations on industry specific contribution to those reductions. So with that in mind, it became critical to work with the department and find those practical solutions that industry could achieve while still maintaining the targets and the timelines set out by the by the greater policy goals. It was in the in these details that would make or break the success of the policy. So, you know, in, in my experience in the, in the pre consultation phase, we actually had that opportunity to learn about what the key regulatory principles were. And there were signs of risk of early failure of the policy, timelines to make changes to the CG one or the proposed publication, we’re very tight as the the it was the date was coming, the publication date was coming in lightning speed. It was through the information exchange and alternate ideas with the department. So the managers, engineers, unit heads, were better solutions were were devised and adopted and invade the proposed regulation a lot better. You know, providing more opportunities for innovation within those compliance boundaries, is what we you know, what we experienced. So the regulation is still on target to delivering those reduction goals and to hitting, you know, sort of Canada’s reduction overall reduction targets. So it was absolutely a win win in this particular case. Another example, is with the sulfur and gasoline regulation. So this, this regulation needed to be updated due to an expiry date of the credit training system that was within the regulation. And that was happening by the end of last year. So by 2020, so the credits that were held within within this industry, for example, were a result of early and ongoing investments. So there was a keen desire to maintain that value, and ensure that those investment dollars were just just didn’t disappear. However, without a published amendment, those credits would disappear. And, and, you know, we were working closely with the Department and, you know, the amendments were prepared, and they just needed to be pushed over the finish line before the end of the year. So, you know, we had discussions with Treasury, for example, to press for a quick approval once they saw the amendment come across their desk, because the urgency of course for industry was very high. I, you know, I recall, never leaving those meetings with the, with a feeling that they really understood the, that they really understood the urgency, it was just sort of another request in and so it ultimately was through the department, the managers level, that one understood or industry understood the, the urgency, that was able to push it from the inside and across the finish line as a result of that, you know, so it was that, you know, the successful conclusion of this amendment getting, you know, becoming published and put into place so that, you know, industry could continue to operate as it was, really came from that construction relationship that was built within this level of government. And I, you know, I recall asking this individual, you know, is there somebody we can talk to, to help to help you help us, you know, is is, you know, you feel like there’s a limitation somewhere that, you know, having a conversation with a senior official might help remove, and in this particular case, there wasn’t he said, No, no, you know, what, I got this, I got this, and he did and he and he made it happen for us. So, you know, it’s an excellent example of how that long that that the constructive relationship constructive relationship really did work in our favor so you know so there are a couple of examples of some huge successes however you know it’s it’s not all rainbows and butterflies there are certainly some challenges in working with the department level sometimes another example was with the multisector air pollutant regulations so this is a huge regulation that implicates many different industries its focus is primarily on air emissions regardless of its source so the regulation has to be broad enough to capture the activities you know, number of different activities and specific enough to account for the individual opportunities and challenges for each of the industries so the technical lead on this file was extremely knowledgeable and hard You know, and and really had to understand a lot of different things there are a number of nuances that were addressed through the dialogue with you know, what the relationship that we had with the technical lead however there was one major concern that we had it was involved in you know, employee safety and and for whatever reason, it just was not getting through we just couldn’t get through to this individual and so there was an attempt to go hire
Giulia Brutesco 16:15
talking to you know, his superiors and we were consistently turned back to the technical lead for resolution so you know, even though it seemed to make sense well let’s go higher let’s you know, let’s see if we can you know, untie these hands are removed some of these barriers the level of detail that this individual is working in is just too much for for everyone above and ultimately returned back so feeling stuck You know, it was concerning it was finally a director in a parallel division so a division of government that actually regulated the the specific sector that was actually able to influence the change that we need so again, the push came from the inside in a sense so having those relationships again really does really does help in making sure that we do have a development process that makes sense so where you know where’s it doesn’t help to go over you know, where are we haven’t really established that solid relationship with the department level you know, I just wanted to show sort of share an example where it’s actually made it worse to go to go above so you know, so you know, say you’re talking to regulatory regulatory development team and you don’t like what you hear so you decide okay, I’m you know, I’m going to discuss the issue with higher level higher levels of government to see if they can change the direction so you know, ADM minister minister’s office, whatever the case might be. So when this happens there’s usually an internal briefing request which goes right back to that file lead that you know, you felt you were getting nowhere with. So now they drop everything and prepare the brief and now they have the opportunity to describe the issue from their perspective and explain why industry is wrong. So your perspective is no longer there. So great. You now you’re no further ahead and if potentially annoyed the final lead up potentially reinforce their position you know, so because now they may have the support of the higher ups whereas the higher ups before didn’t wasn’t aware or or didn’t care. Now they’re aware and now they care and now it’s it’s there’s so they’re backing they’re backing their staff. So how does this affect the collaboration that needs to happen in order to have a successful policy? I have an example for that. Under the International Maritime solid, solid boat cargoes coder, I am I am SBC code, it’s still hard to say some of the changes that were being made proposed in this in this code, we’re going to make marine transportation of this product particular exceedingly more difficult than costly, and it actually would have been also associated with a negative public perception issue which industry is very concerned about. The worst part was the proposals were being put forward were laid on a on a foundation of wonky science, in a fear rooted in major incidences resulting from the mismanagement of the product. So it was extremely sensitive issue. And in this case, we were unfortunately very late to the game. In that proposal development, it was quite advanced. And it was actually quite close to adoption. So and when and this had happened due to you know, a change in management within the division without our without our, our knowledge. So you know, one day it was going in one direction, right? Okay, great. This makes sense. We don’t need to look at this next thing, you know, we’re almost over this finish line with a, you know, with with these proposals that are going to make our lives a lot More difficult and more expensive. So, you know, so we’re scrambling to understand why what for and and try to influence an alternative solution all at the same time. So really not having had that opportunity to build a relationship with with a technical lead. And so after several attempts of trying to establish that relationship, and trying to rationalize the concern and alternative solutions, it was clear, we were getting nowhere, there was absolutely no movement. So I attempted to reach out to more senior levels, such as the ADM and dg, to see if there were any sort of
Giulia Brutesco 20:35
leverage, you know, if there was any sort of leverage, or at least open the year of the division to hear industry out. And unfortunately, in this case, the industry was like when the issue was so sensitive, and nobody would touch it. So again, it was referred back to the technical lead, the lead now had the total support of the division. So we went off any further ahead, and now have the potential to strengthen the technical lead support system further, leaving really leaving us on the outside. And I think I think the worst part was dad soul to the room, and I had a colleague from another association that had a clear path of communication with this particular individual. And it was clear that, you know, that relationship had been established over a much longer period of time. You know, again, another reason why building these relationships is so important. are certainly in this scenario, our our Hill just became steeper decline. So, yeah, so, uh, you know, so, you know, we talked a lot of examples and I do apologize, I realize how, you know, heavy and, and although the details were very washed, they’re, you know, very, very heavy on some of the details in some of these, some of these particular scenarios, but I think, you know, I think we can kind of, you know, look at that in and takeaway, you know, four key four key things. And one I want to reiterate and again, you know, based on the success of the my successes, and certainly my challenges in my career, is you know, building the relationship with the department understand what they’re working on, and what the, what the limitations that they have, what they’ve been given is critically important. They understand the industry’s challenges best and are in the best position to determine the solutions with you that meet the policy goals, but also are feasible from a compliance standpoint. And they they’re the ones that provide the briefs to the more senior players so it’s advantageous to have these briefs consider industry’s perspective, the push from the inside is is is more influential in many cases than a push from the outside. So something to keep in mind as as you know, you’re looking at all angles of how to get your messages across and of course providing solutions not just identifying problems you know, even providing regulatory text in a in a CG one consultation makes their lives a lot easier and facilitates the adoption of those needed changes. And looking at so when we look in and looking at sort of reaching above and having you know, conversations with more senior officials, we can see this as a an opportunity to untie hands to remove limitations to mobilize the team I truly believe that those those meetings will be more successful in terms of your regulatory development efforts. And always communicate those strategy that you know to to the individual to the file lead, tell them that you’re going to do it because you know, nobody likes to get caught on their heels and and certainly, you know, having having that open dialogue just further enhances that relationship. And just don’t think that going above will put them in their place, families will usually end up gaining more support from the division. So making that collaboration reward far more difficult. And the simple thing is giving praise I know we didn’t really talk a lot about that in the talk today but it’s it’s something so simple that you know we’re ensuring that the people that are working the hardest for us are really trying to make those great efforts are getting the credit especially to their superiors, everybody loves to you know to know that you know, their boss is being told what a good job that they’re doing. And it’ll ultimately make them work harder for you. So, so things things to consider.
Giulia Brutesco 24:55
And you know, looking forward to the to the q&a, and certainly would love the opportunity Connect with folks and learn about their experiences, successes and challenges. And the best way to connect with me would be through LinkedIn here.
Tan Sukhera 25:08
Well there you have it, folks a practical approach to regulatory development. Thank you so much, Julie. That was really insightful and really thought provoking. Let’s take a look at some of the questions that have come in that are coming in here.