Bringing Back Fee Fairness: The Implications of Rushed Changes to Federal Cost Recovery Rules
User fees play an important role in how departments and agencies are funded. Like taxes, they affect the competitiveness of businesses that pay them.
The federal government replaced the User Fees Act with the Service Fees Act in the 2017 federal budget. The legislation was included in the omnibus budget bill, meaning it received far less parliamentary debate, committee study or public scrutiny than it would have as standalone legislation. Unfortunately, Health Canada’s 2017 attempt to dramatically increase fees for drugs and medical devices, gave no consideration to business competitiveness impacts and reinforced industry concerns about the federal shift on fees.
2020 will mark three years since the passage of the Service Fees Act and given the hasty implementation of changes to federal cost recovery rules, we have examined how the government and Health Canada specifically have exercised these new authorities.
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To learn more on how Canada’s regulatory system is a mix of complex, overlapping rules from all levels of government that has created a costly and uncertain environment to run a business, visit RegulateSmarter.ca.