Welcome to the first of the Passive House Canada policy backgrounders. These short, focused articles are written to inform a broad audience of the issues relevant to the Canadian building policy landscape. For practitioners they offer solid foundational knowledge. Policy makers will find the analysis of the Canadian regulatory system worthwhile – some will love it and others will be uncomfortable about changes required to achieve excellence in buildings, a goal these articles will advocate. Industry members, the public and environmental movements wishing to better understand what can and should be done about buildings will be able to read these articles without building science expertise or a strong background in building policy.