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Manitoba poised to go from laggard to leader on reducing red tape

Manitoba poised to go from laggard to leader

We know entrepreneurs, like you, deal with piles of red tape like PST, GST, employment standards, municipal by-laws, payroll taxes, WCB paperwork – the list goes on and on. You tell us red tape holds back your business - dealing with inconsistent information, confusing forms, outdated rules and rude customer service.

Government red tape is a hidden tax affecting Canada’s small businesses much more than larger firms. CFIB estimates the annual cost of all regulations on businesses is pegged at $37 billion per year, with one-third of that ($11 billion) considered red tape. In Manitoba, all federal, provincial and municipal regulations cost businesses $1.2 billion per year, $360 million of which is considered red tape.

That’s why eight years ago CFIB launched Canada’s Red Tape Awareness Week (RTAW), which looks at the governments making progress and the ones lagging when it comes to reducing unnecessary rules and red tape on entrepreneurs.


CFIB issues annual red tape report cardgrading the provinces and territories on their commitment to red tape accountability. Leading the way on red tape reduction are British Columbia and Quebec. Both provinces have shown strong leadership in dealing with red tape, have established a comprehensive measure of the regulatory burden, and have reduced or restricted the growth of unnecessary regulations. Saskatchewan, Nova Scotia and the Federal Government are next in line with a B Grade.

Given its recent actions toward regulatory accountability, Manitoba improved its grade from an F in 2016 to a D+ in 2017. Recent commitments show that the government is serious about reducing red tape.

Government of Manitoba committed to reducing red tape:

  • Province Proclaims 2017 Red Tape Awareness Week (January 23-27, 2017): This will mark the 1st year the Manitoba government has partnered with CFIB to proclaim RTAW in the province.
  • 1st Province to legislate 1-for-1 red tape reductionThe Manitoba government announced that it will table legislation in the spring, that will require at least one regulation be repealed for every new regulation introduced. A stricter two-for-one policy will be implemented until 2021.
  • Launching the Red Tape Reduction Task Force: On December 6, 2016, the Manitoba government launched the Red Tape Reduction Task Force, which will identify regulatory requirements that stifle growth and will initially focus efforts on four specific industries; agriculture and food-processing, transportation, non-profit organizations, and land development. The Task Force includes business leaders from the across the province who will represent the four targeted sectors. CFIB’s Marilyn Braun-Pollon will represent Manitoba’s small businesses on the Task Force, and will serve on the Agriculture and food processing sub-committee.
  • Signing the New West Partnership Trade Agreement: On November 17, 2016, the Manitoba Government announced it had joined the New West Partnership Trade Agreement (NWPTA) which came into effect on January 1, 2017. This trade agreement will reduce red tape by allowing for easier movement of goods, services and labour across provincial boundaries. About 40 per cent of Manitoba’s interprovincial exports are to British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan, which improves access to the four province’s eleven million people and Gross Domestic Product (GDP) over $750 billion.


Next Steps: Manitoba is the first provincial government to accept CFIB’s 1-for-1 challenge and is poised to go from a laggard to a leader on red tape reduction. If Manitoba makes good on its commitments, it will have a much better grade in CFIB’s next Red Tape Report Card.

Have a red tape headache? Please contact Business Resources at 1-888-234-2232 or email [email protected].

Not a member of CFIB yet?  JOIN CFIB today for more help and information.


February 1, 2017

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