2023 Red Tape Report Card: Mixed grades across Canada

Governments still have a long way to go on reducing their regulatory burden 

Toronto, February 1, 2023—The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) released its 13th Annual Red Tape Report Card as part of CFIB’s Red Tape Awareness Week. Top overall marks this year go to Alberta, Ontario, and British Columbia, while Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island receive the lowest grades. 

The 2023 Red Tape Report Card grades governments in three main areas of regulatory performance. First, the regulatory accountability section considers whether governments are measuring regulation and setting regulatory constraints. Second, the “burden” section—where most jurisdictions receive their lowest grades—includes indicators such as the number of regulatory restrictions in each province. Lastly, the new political priority category looks at clear indications that red tape reduction and regulatory modernization are policy priorities of the Premier/Prime Minister and Executive Council/Cabinet.  

The 2023 Red Tape Report Card grades: 

Jurisdiction Regulatory 
Overall score and grade
Alberta 8.9         A- 8.4         B+ 9.5         A 8.8         A-
Ontario 8.8         A- 7.8         B 9.5         A 8.5         B+
British Columbia 8.9         A- 8.8         A- 7.0         C 8.5         B+
Nova Scotia 8.8         A- 7.6         B- 9.0         A 8.4         B+
Manitoba 8.8         A- 8.3         B+ 7.5         B- 8.3         B+
Quebec 8.8         A- 7.4         C+ 9.0         A 8.3         B+
Saskatchewan 8.0         B 7.9         B 7.0         C 7.8         B
Federal 6.9         C 6.2         C- 7.5         B- 6.7         C
Prince Edward Island 6.3         C- 6.7         C 6.0         C- 6.4         C-
New Brunswick 4.3         F 5.8         D 7.0         C 5.4         D
Newfoundland and Labrador 3.0         F 3.9         F 1.5         F 3.0         F

“Governments do three main things: tax, spend, and regulate. There’s plenty of measurement and accountability on the fiscal side, but too little on the regulatory side,” said Laura Jones, CFIB executive vice-president. “That is why CFIB started grading governments 13 years ago. Since then, governments have made significant progress, but more work needs to be done to ensure governments are not only measuring and reporting their regulatory counts but also reducing the overall burden.” 

To learn more visit: cfib.ca/redtape.

For media enquiries or interviews, please contact: 
Dariya Baiguzhiyeva, CFIB 

About CFIB 
The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) is Canada’s largest association of small and medium-sized businesses with 97,000 members across every industry and region. CFIB is dedicated to increasing business owners’ chances of success by driving policy change at all levels of government, providing expert advice and tools, and negotiating exclusive savings. Learn more at cfib.ca.