Created in 2001, the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) is an independent government agency of the Government of Canada. FCAC:
- The FCAC is responsible for enforcing the regulations, as outlined by Access to Basic Banking Services Regulations that took effect on September 30, 2003
- Provides Information and financial tools for consumers including a robust comparison of credit cards, bank account types, and mortgages available to Canadians
- Oversees Financial Institutions to ensure compliance with federal consumer protection measures
Established through Parliamentary legislation in 1987, the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) is an independent government agency reporting to the Minister of Finance, and the primary regulator and supervisor of federally registered deposit-taking institutions, insurance companies, and federally registered private pension plans. OSFI’s mandate is to advance and administer a regulatory framework that contributes to public confidence in a strong, stable and competitive financial system. OSFI:
- Primary regulator of federally chartered financial institutions and federally administered pension plans, reporting to the Minister of Finance
- Mandate is to advance and administer a regulatory framework that contributes to public confidence in a strong, stable and competitive financial system by managing risk
- Supervise institutions and pension plans to determine whether they are in sound financial condition and meeting minimum plan funding requirements respectively, and are complying with their governing law and supervisory requirements
- Promptly advise institutions and plans in the event there are material deficiencies and take or require management, boards or plan administrators to take necessary corrective measures expeditiously
- Supervision and regulation of all banks, and all federally incorporated or registered trust and loan companies, insurance companies, cooperative credit associations, fraternal benefit societies, and pension plans
- Monitor and evaluate system-wide or sectoral issues that may impact institutions negatively
The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC), previously known as the Atomic Energy Control Board (AECB), is the governmental nuclear power and materials watchdog in Canada. The CNSC is an independent agency of the Government of Canada which reports to the Parliament of Canada through the Minister of Natural Resources. In addition to nuclear power plants and nuclear research facilities, the CNSC regulates:
- Numerous other uses of nuclear material such as radioisotopes used in the treatment of cancer,
- The operation of uranium mines and refineries
- The use of radioactive sources for oil exploration and in instruments such as precipitation measurement devices
The regulatory system is designed to protect people and the environment from human-made radiation resulting from the use of nuclear energy and materials at licensed sites. This is accomplished through a licensing process that requires the licensee to prove that their operations are safe. At the basis of the regulatory system is the principle that no technology is fail proof, so licensees must incorporate multiple layers of protection whenever radioactive materials are used.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (or CFIA), created in April 1997 by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency Act, is a science based regulatory agency that works to protect Canadians with:
- Preventable health risks
- Provide a fair and effective food, animal and plant regulatory regime that supports competitive domestic and international markets.
- Safeguarding of food, animals, and plants, which enhance the health and well-being of the Canadian people, environment and economy
- Consolidating and integrating the delivery of all federal food safety, animal health, and plant health regulatory programs and integrating the related inspection services of three separate federal government departments; Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, and Health Canada.
The Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food is responsible for the CFIA. The Minister of Health is responsible for establishing policies and standards for the safety and nutritional quality of food sold in Canada.
The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), established in 1976, is a public organisation with mandate as a regulatory agency for broadcasting and telecommunications. Prior to 1976, it was known as the Canadian Radio and Television Commission, which was established in 1968 by the Parliament of Canada to replace the Board of Broadcast Governors. The CRTC regulates all Canadian broadcasting and telecommunications activities and enforces rules it creates to carry out the policies assigned to it; the best-known of these is probably the Canadian content rules. The CRTC reports to the Parliament of Canada through the Minister of Canadian Heritage, which is responsible for the Broadcasting Act, and has an informal relationship with Industry Canada, which is responsible for the Telecommunications Act. Provisions in these two acts, along with less-formal instructions issued by the federal cabinet known as orders-in-council, represent the bulk of the CRTC’s jurisdiction.
***The CRTC is not fully equivalent to the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC), which has additional powers over technical matters in broadcasting and other aspects of communications, in the US. In Canada, the Department of Industry is responsible for allocating frequencies and call signs, managing the broadcast spectrum, and regulating other technical issues such as interference with electronics equipment.