Progress continues in the battle against unnecessary regulations
Regina, January 24, 2017 – Today, during Red Tape Awareness Week™, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) issued its annual red tape report card, grading the provinces and territories on their commitment to red tape accountability. The report card looks at political leadership, public measurement, and constraints on regulations.
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 has 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.
“We commend the Government of Saskatchewan for continuing to make red tape reduction a priority with its ongoing regulatory measurement using the Regulatory Cost Model (RCM),” said Marilyn Braun-Pollon, CFIB’s Vice-President, Prairie and Agri-business. “Once fully implemented, the RCM will be one of the most comprehensive measures of regulatory burden in the country as it will include the cost to business of government rules found in legislation, regulation, administrative policies and forms from all ministries, as well as Crown corporations and third party agencies delegated regulating power.”
“In fact, the Ministry of the Economy’s Annual Regulatory Modernization Progress Report identified $15.5 million in red tape cost savings for the 2014-15 and 2015-16 fiscal years, which exceeded its $5 million annual savings target,” added Braun-Pollon. “It is also good to see 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.”
“While the RCM is slated to be fully implemented by 2023, we recommend the government complete their baseline count before 2023 so relief can be provided to business owners sooner,” noted Braun-Pollon.
“Two clear examples of the Government of Saskatchewan’s commitment to reducing red tape for entrepreneurs include strong finalists from Saskatchewan for CFIB’s sixth annual Golden Scissors Award,” said Braun-Pollon. “These finalists include the amendments to the Food Safety Regulations to specifically address the operation of home-based baking businesses, which resulted in Saskatchewan becoming the first province to make such changes, as well as the reduction of red tape on cottage wineries and microdistilleries.”
“We are proud of the many initiatives, across our government, that are reducing the regulatory burden on businesses and the public, as well as improving competitiveness in Saskatchewan,” Minister of the Economy Jeremy Harrison said. “Our aim is to achieve better regulation without any compromise to the environment, public safety or worker protection measures.”
CFIB has been asking governments to take the first step to being accountable by getting on the red tape scale. “For governments that want a better grade, red tape reform has a simple formula: measure, report, repeat,” said Laura Jones, Executive Vice-president and Chief Strategic Officer at CFIB. “Without knowing the size of the problem, it’s impossible to tackle it – like trying to lose weight without first weighing yourself.”
“Kudos to British Columbia for showing leadership and continuing to hone in on the unnecessary regulations restraining small businesses,” proclaimed Jones. “Along with Quebec, they are showing the rest of the country how it’s done. Now we encourage them, and all the provinces and territories, to take up our challenge and legislate a one-for-one law.”
Government red tape is a hidden tax that affects Canada’s small businesses much more than larger firms. According to CFIB’s latest research, the annual cost of all regulations on businesses in Canada is estimated at $37 billion per year, with one-third of that ($11 billion) considered to be red tape. In Saskatchewan, federal, provincial and municipal regulations cost businesses $1.1 billion, $330 million of which is considered red tape.
To arrange an interview with Marilyn Braun-Pollon, CFIB’s Vice-President Prairie & Agri-business, please call (306) 757-0000, 1-888-234-2232 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow CFIB Saskatchewan on Twitter @cfibsk.
CFIB is Canada’s largest association of small- and medium-sized businesses with 109,000 members (5,250 in Saskatchewan) across every sector and region.