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The Red Tape Report Card: Grading governments' progress

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Keeping government accountable is a crucial part of our advocacy, especially during Red Tape Awareness Week

CFIB’s Red Tape Report Card, which we have published since 2011, holds provincial governments accountable for one of your biggest headaches: excessive regulations. We evaluate the provinces on three criteria:

  • Leaders’ willingness to cut red tape
  • Whether the province keeps a public registry of all regulations
  • Whether there is a limit on new regulations (such as a one-for-one rule) 

Thanks to the Report Card, some provinces have made real progress and have adopted our recommendations in past years. For some others, there is still work to be done. 

Highlights from 2018

This year, there’s a new ‘A’ student in the fight against red tape: Manitoba. After a meager ‘D+‘ in 2017, the province turned things around for the 2018 edition of the Red Tape Report Card. Manitoba is one of three provinces with an ‘A’ grade, joining Québec and British Columbia. 

Its new grade is thanks to several important measures in the past year, including instituting a 2-for-1 rule, which will see at least two old requirements eliminated for every new rule. This is great news for the province’s small businesses, who can expect their regulatory burden to ease up for years to come. 

Other provinces on the move include Nova Scotia and Saskatchewan (both went from B to A-).  

…and some lowlights

In less positive news, Ontario, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island Newfoundland and Labrador and the federal government all slipped in their efforts to combat red tape. The provinces that fared badly usually had one thing in common: not publicly recognizing and accounting for every regulation in place. Some provinces legislated this kind of baseline, but it hasn’t been updated, leaving you in the dark about how much red tape you have to deal with. 

Read the full 2018 Red Tape Report Card, and pressure your provincial government to follow the next steps we recommend!