In many smaller Island municipalities, red tape is minimal because the municipality has few, if any, bylaws or restrictions. That said, many of those smaller municipalities are being encouraged to amalgamation into larger ones and the province's Municipal Government Act has created new requirements for all municipalities to create official plans, bylaws, and land use planning. In smaller municipalities, it is crucial that the regulatory burden for businesses is considered when implementing bylaw and policy changes.
In larger municipalities, the need to be an easy place to do business is just as critical. We all want communities where small businesses and entrepreneurs can thrive. All larger municipalities should conduct an evaluation of their regulatory burden and consider ways they can lighten their footprint. For instance, the Halifax Regional Municipality recently adopted a municipal Charter of Governing Principles for Regulation to help guide the way it deals with local businesses. It's a model that could easily be adopted by Island municipalities.