In addition to specific recommendations, the 2007 study also
included six guiding principles set forth by the Bureau to help
regulators develop regulatory frameworks that maximize consumer
welfare through competition:
Regulation should have clearly defined and specific
Restrictions should be directly linked to clear and verifiable
Regulation should be the minimum necessary to achieve stated
The regulatory process must be impartial and not
A regulatory scheme should allow for periodic assessment of its
effectiveness and be subject to regular reviews.
A primary objective of the regulatory framework should be to
promote open and effectively competitive markets.
At the time, the self-regulating professions considered in the
study had been asked to re-examine the restrictions identified by
the Bureau, and to remove those that did not benefit the public
interest. In December of 2009, the Bureau requested an update from
each of the five professions on measures taken since the
publication of its 2007 recommendations. In the ex-post assessment
just released, the Bureau found that the impact of its 2007 study
had extended beyond the five professions noted above and that
progress had been made toward the removal of unnecessary
restrictions on competition in several sectors. More specifically,
the Bureau highlighted improvements made in the following
Labour mobility: Amendments to the labour mobility provisions
of the Agreement on Internal Trade now allow workers certified for
an occupation in a province or territory to be certified for that
occupation in another province or territory, upon application to
the relevant regulatory authority (except for public accountants,
who remain subject to more stringent regulatory requirements).
Provision of legal services: Under the Quebec Mobility
Agreement, entered into in March 2010 by all Canadian common-law
jurisdictions and the Barreau du Québec, members of any
provincial or territorial law society can exercise mobility on a
Marketing and advertising of accounting and legal services:
Changes to the Canadian Institute for Chartered
Accountants' Model Rules for Professional Conduct and
professional rules for the marketing of legal services have
enhanced accountants' and lawyers' freedom to
Optometry: In British Columbia, Ontario, Nova Scotia and Prince
Edward Island, optometrists have been given new authority to
prescribe pharmaceuticals for eye conditions that they are
qualified to treat.
Opticians: In British Columbia, opticians now have the
authority to perform eye tests and identify persons requiring more
in–depth assessment by an optometrist.
Pharmacy: A number of provinces are in the process of creating
a pharmacy technician designation, which would allow pharmacy
technicians to perform dispensing tasks currently reserved for
The Bureau concluded its review by reiterating the importance
for self-regulating professions and government authorities to
ensure that professional restrictions are developed and applied in
a pro-competitive manner, and to strike a balance between
competition and regulation.
It is important to note that the Bureau's 2007 study and
recent follow-up are relevant only to professional bodies that have
been granted statutory authority to regulate some or all aspects of
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