Professional Self-Regulation and the Public Interest in Canada

Tracey L. Adams


The regulation of professional groups has often been justified as being in the public interest. In recent decades, policymakers in Anglo-American countries have questioned whether self-regulating professions have truly served the public interest, or whether they have merely acted in their own interests. This paper draws on legislative records and policy reports to explore meanings attached to professional self-regulation and the public interest in Canada by state actors over the past 150 years. The findings point to a shift in the definition of the public interest away from service quality and professional interests, towards efficiency, human rights, consumer choice, and in some contexts business interests. Changing views of the public interest contribute to regulatory change.

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Copyright (c) 2016 Tracey L. Adams

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