As a business owner, you are already painfully aware that Nova Scotia is one of the most highly regulated provinces in Canada. The unfortunate reality is red tape is also the single biggest barrier to economic growth. The good news is that CFIB’s hard work in this area is paying off and substantial regulatory reform could be on the horizon.
The last two years have seen the government of Nova Scotia laying the groundwork needed to finally tackle red tape in our province. See attached 2015/15 Annual Report Highlights.
Following CFIB’s recommendations, four key pieces are now in place:
- The Office of Regulatory Affairs and Service Effectiveness was created to address red tape reduction.
- The Regulatory Accountability Act was passed in the Legislature enshrining red tape reduction into law.
- The Premier directed all government departments to make red tape reduction a priority.
- A groundbreaking red tape assessment and costing tool was launched by the Office of Regulatory Affairs and is now being implemented by all government departments.
The assessment and costing tool is made up of two parts – the decision tree and the cost calculator. It forces government departments who are seeking to implement a new regulation or proposing an amendment to:
- Consult with business to understand the problem,
- Make a comprehensive assessment of the financial and administrative impact on business.
Following consultation and assessment, government must submit their proposal to the Office of Regulatory Affairs for review. If it will have a negative impact on business, it won’t move forward.
This is the first phase in a three-year plan. For next steps, CFIB will be pushing the Office of Regulatory Affairs to set concrete targets for red tape reduction, as well as eliminating existing regulations that have proven to be ineffective and bad for business.
What we’ve seen so far is very promising but the real test will be if business owners feel the impact. Only time will tell.