Northwest Territories lagging behind on red tape accountability

Northwest Territories lagging behind on red tape accountability

Toronto/Calgary, January 20, 2015 – On day two of Red Tape Awareness WeekTM, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) issued its annual report card, grading the provinces, territories and federal government on their commitment to red tape accountability.  The report card looks at measurement, public reporting and political leadership.

Jurisdiction2014 Grade2015 Grade
British ColumbiaAA
Federal GovernmentB+B+
Newfoundland and LabradorC+C
Prince Edward IslandD+D+
Nova ScotiaC-D-
Northwest TerritoriesFF
New BrunswickBNA*

 *too soon to evaluate the new government’s performance on regulatory accountability

“Red tape is a huge hidden tax on all Canadians, that hits small businesses particularly hard,” said Laura Jones, CFIB’s executive vice-president.  “We’re asking all governments to take the first step and get on the scale.  Without knowing the size of the problem, it’s impossible to tackle it - like trying to lose weight without weighing yourself.  It doesn’t work.”

British Columbia, the only jurisdiction with an A grade, has been measuring and reporting on red tape for a decade. Yesterday, the BC government announced it was extending its one-for-one rule until 2019.  Nova Scotia, meanwhile, was once a top performer, with clear public measurements, but hasn’t gotten on the scale since 2010.  The Northwest Territories has never weighed in.

“Measure, report, repeat,” added Jones.  “It’s not that hard to get a good grade.  With all the lip service governments give to economic prosperity and job creation, it’s incredible that some still don’t make regulatory accountability a priority.”

CFIB’s Senior Policy Analyst for Alberta and NWT, Amber Ruddy, gave additional context for the F grade given to Northwest Territories. “Red tape ensnares entrepreneurs across Northwest Territories and political leaders have yet to recognize there is a problem.  If the territory wants to create an attractive business environment, quantify and take action to address the red tape nightmare.”

“It’s time to step on the scale, be accountable, and measure up,” concluded Ruddy.  

For more information, please call Gisele Lumsden at 416-222-8022 or by email at  To speak with Amber Ruddy, Senior Policy Analyst, please call 1-866-444-9290. 

View the complete report card

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CFIB is Canada’s largest association of small- and medium-sized businesses with 109,000 members across every sector and region