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2019 Red Tape Report Card: is your government making regulation better or worse?

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Red tape consistently ranks as a top concern for business owners like you – so we’re holding governments accountable for all the restrictive rules and regulations on their books. 

CFIB’s Red Tape Report Card, which we have published during Red Tape Awareness Week since 2011, grades provincial governments on their progress tackling excessive regulation. The annual report has led to impressive results: from a slate of C’s and F’s in its first year, many governments have answered the call and committed to cutting their regulatory load.

Highlights from 2019: top marks for many provinces

In our latest report, three provinces earned perfect A’s! 

Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Nova Scotia all garnered top marks – Manitoba for the second year in a row, and the others moving up from A-. Saskatchewan and N.S. both released a tally of all the regulations on the books in their respective provinces, which is an important step toward understanding how bad the burden is on business owners! 

2019 Red Tape Report Card

In a year of elections, some signs of hope

New governments were elected in three provinces last year: Quebec, Ontario and New Brunswick. 

Ontario earned an A- in the report card, thanks to the government’s clear goal to cutting 25% of all regulations by 2022 by conducting an annual review of what laws and rules are on the books. 

While the other two changed governments are still too new to earn grades, both have signaled that they’re committed to reducing your regulatory burden. We’re hoping these provinces make good on their promises in 2019! 

The back of the pack

On the negative side of the ledger, there’s some bad news out west and up north. Alberta and the Northwest Territories earned F’s for the second year running and they were joined by Yukon this time. None of those governments have made reducing red tape a priority. In Alberta’s case, new rules on health and safety have only made the burden on business owners worse. 

Read the full 2019 Red Tape Report Card and pressure your provincial government to follow the next steps we recommend!

How the provinces are graded

We evaluate the provincial and federal governments on three criteria:

  • Leaders’ willingness to cut red tape
  • Whether the province keeps a public registry of all regulations, ensuring that they grasp the size of the problem and can identify places to cut
  • Whether there is a limit on new regulations (such as a “one-for-one” rule, which requires every new regulation to be offset by scrapping an old one)