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Saskatchewan earns a "B" in national red tape report card

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 You tell us red tape holds back your business - dealing with inconsistent information, confusing forms, outdated rules and rude customer service.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 unnecessary red tape. In Saskatchewan, all federal, provincial and municipal regulations cost businesses $1.1 billion per year, $330 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 card, grading 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’s B grade is amongst the strongest in the country, tied with Nova Scotia and the Federal Government.

Government of Saskatchewan committed to reducing red tape:

  • Province Proclaims 2017 Red Tape Awareness Week (January 23-27, 2017): This will mark the 8th year in a row the Ministry of the Economy has partnered with CFIB to proclaim RTAW in Saskatchewan.
  • 2nd Province to legislate red tape reduction: In 2013, Saskatchewan passed legislation on publishing annual red tape reduction initiatives. The government is building a measure of regulatory burden using the Regulatory Cost Model (RCM), which aims to estimate compliance costs for businesses. This model is slated to be implemented by 2023.
  • Regulatory Cost Model finding cost savings: The RCM has identified $15.5 million in red tape costs savings, exceeding the $5 million annual savings target. The government is ahead of schedule on its yearly target of completing 10 per cent of its inventory (over a 10 year window), with 126 regulatory reviews completed in 2016-17.
  • Sask has two strong finalists for CFIB’s 6th annual Golden Scissors Award: It’s great to see the province have finalists for the Golden Scissors Award five years in a row. Amendments to the Food Safety Regulations to specifically address the operation of home-based baking businesses and reducing red tape on cottage wineries and microdistilleries were finalists for the CFIB’s Golden Scissors Award.


Next Steps: While we like the plan to reduce red tape by 25 per cent by 2020, we are recommending the government complete their baseline count before 2023, so relief can be provided to entrepreneurs sooner.

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.

January 27, 2017

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