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Golden Scissors Award: Celebrating red-tape warriors

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The prestigious Golden Scissors Award recognizes politicians, public servants, or other Canadians who have shown leadership in cutting red tape, producing meaningful and positive results for small businesses like yours. The ultimate prize of the Golden Scissors is bestowed on only a small handful of people and organizations, out of many distinguished nominees from across the country. 

And the 2018 winner is…

  • Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister and Finance Minister Cameron Friesen, for instituting an ambitious red-tape reduction plan! The province's “2-for-1” rule will see two old regulations scrapped for every new one introduced, and it has already updated 15 pieces of legislation to get rid of unnecessary rules in industries from agriculture to auto repair. In addition, its new Red Tape Reduction Task Force will hear directly from Manitobans—including business owners—on what regulatory headaches they face. 

    Jonathan Alward and Cameron Friesen, GSA Manitoba 20180126

The Honourable Mentions are:

  • Hon. Diane Lebouthillier, Minister of National Revenue, for allowing small business owners to distribute T4s electronically to their employees. 

    Corrine Pohlman, Ashley Ziai and Minister LeBouthiller, GSA Fed 20180126

  • Nova Scotia Office of Regulatory Affairs and Service Effectiveness – Business Navigation Service, for pioneering innovative, personalized ways to help small businesses comply with regulations. 

    Jordi Morgan, Kate Allen and Stephen_MacNeil, GSA NS 20180126

  • Hon. Dominique Vien, Quebec’s Minister of Labour, for loosening an inflexible rule around voluntary construction work.

    Martine Hebert and Minister Vien, GSA QC 20180126

The other finalists for the award were:

  • Saskatchewan Ministry of Highways & Infrastructure and Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI), for drastically reducing wait times for oversize trucking permits on routes that do not include bridges.
  • Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall, for implementing the mandatory use of a comprehensive, standardized method of calculating the cost of regulations and examining alternatives. 
  • Planning and Development Department and Wildfire Recovery Task Force, Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, for reducing wait times and redundant permits to help Fort McMurray businesses and residents rebuild after the devastating 2016 wildfire. 
  • Brad Duguid, former Ontario Minister of Economic Development and Growth, for creating the “Red Tape Challenge,” an online consultation tool for business owners to share their red tape concerns.  
  • Andrew MacMillan, CEO, PEI Liquor Control Commission, for speeding up the approval for liquor licenses and making the process easier for business owners. 
  • Hon. André Drolet, Quebec’s Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Small and Medium Enterprises, for streamlining liquor permitting for restaurants, bars and the hospitality sector. 

Find out more about the winners and finalists. 

Golden Scissors Awards through the years

Special 2017 Edition: A revolutionary trade agreement

We handed out a special Golden Scissors Award to provincial and territorial trade ministers, to celebrate the passing of the Canadian Free Trade Agreement! The agreement will eliminate needless interprovincial trade barriers, making it easier for small firms to do business across the country.

2017: B.C. creates Red Tape Reduction Day

British Columbia Premier and Minister of Small Business win the award, for introducing an annual Red Tape Reduction Day, leading to the repeal of 37 unnecessary pieces of legislation. The Day also resulted in streamlined online applications for certain permits and more than 200 scrapped regulations.

Honorable mentions

  • Fred Crooks, Chief Regulatory Officer, Nova Scotia: For offsetting each regulation with a cost reduction for businesses.
  • Lise Thériault, Deputy Premier, Québec: For setting a goal of reducing red tape costs by 10% by 2018.
  • Brad Duguid, Minister of Economic Development, Ontario: For introducing an online portal (the Red Tape Challenge) where Ontarians can submit ideas of red tape to cut.
  • Canadian Food Inspection Agency: For setting up a user-friendly online resource for agri-businesses with questions about regulations.
2016: A special task force in Québec

Quebec ministers Sam Hamad (Minister of Labour) and Jean-Denis Girard (Minister of Small and Medium Enterprises) are recognized for creating a red tape task force—and implementing 90% of its recommendations!

Honorable mentions

  • Premier Stephen McNeil, Nova Scotia: For leading the charge on an agreement between the provinces to recognize each other’s apprenticeship programs, allowing Canadians to find more work across the country. 
  • Nancy Heppner, Minister of Infrastructure and Jeremy Harrison, Minister of Trade, Saskatchewan: For harmonizing Saskatchewan’s truck regulations with Alberta’s, to facilitate transportation between the two provinces.
  • Alan McIsaac, Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Prince Edward Island: For allowing farmers to register vehicles once, rather than re-registering every year. 
2015: Payroll taxes made easier

Minister of National Revenue Kerri-Lynne Findlay wins for a small, but powerful change to the way small businesses like yours remit payroll taxes to the CRA. Many small businesses can now send in payroll taxes biweekly or monthly, rather than weekly. 

Honorable mentions

  • Naheed Nenshi, Mayor of Calgary: For leading the Cut Red Tape initiative, which saved the city’s small businesses $2.8 million.
  • Diane Whalen, Finance Minister, Nova Scotia: For eliminating a regulation that would have required scrap metal dealers to collect sellers’ personal information.

About Red Tape Awareness Week: Each year, CFIB dedicates one week in January to raise public awareness about the impact of excessive regulations and red tape on small business and challenge politicians and bureaucrats across the country to take action.