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Canada’s red tape report card: Saskatchewan maintains “B”

BC continues to lead the way; Maritime Provinces also leap forward

Regina, January 19, 2016 – On day two of 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 measurement, public reporting and political leadership.

CFIB has been asking governments to take the first step to being accountable by getting on the red tape scale. Without knowing the size of the problem, it’s impossible to tackle it – like trying to lose weight without first weighing yourself. “Seven years after CFIB started Red Tape Awareness Week™, those governments in Canada unwilling to weigh-in are now the exception rather than the rule,” said Satinder Chera, CFIB vice-president.

“The province has made good progress with cutting red tape and we applaud the Saskatchewan government’s strong commitment to red tape accountability,” said Marilyn Braun-Pollon, CFIB’s vice president, Prairie & Agri-Business. In 2013, Saskatchewan became the second province to pass legislation on publishing annual red tape reduction initiatives. The government is currently building its baseline measure, using the Regulatory Cost Model (RCM), which aims to estimate compliance costs for businesses. The model is slated to be implemented by 2023.

“We are particularly pleased the RCM has identified $12.4 million in costs savings, exceeding the $5 million target for the 2015-16 fiscal year,” added Braun-Pollon. “We also like the plan to reduce red tape by 25 per cent by 2020, but would encourage the government to complete their baseline count before 2023, so relief can be provided to Saskatchewan business owners sooner.” 

“A few clear examples of the Government of Saskatchewan’s commitment to reducing red tape for entrepreneurs include two strong finalists from Saskatchewan for CFIB’s Golden Scissors Award,” noted Braun-Pollon. “The streamlining of the Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP) resulted in reducing the employer application processing times from eight months to l0 days and the standardizing of ‘wide-load’ signs on trucks to match neighbouring Alberta.”

“The Government of Saskatchewan remains focused on ensuring a competitive and streamlined regulatory environment for businesses,” Immigration, Jobs, Skills and Training Minister Jeremy Harrison said. “As such, we have committed to reviewing all business-related regulations over a multi-year period, to ensure they are enhanced and to ultimately remove any red tape that creates barriers to growth.”


Jurisdiction 2015 Grade 2016 Grade
British Columbia A A
Quebec B+ B+
Ontario B+ B+
Saskatchewan B B
Nova Scotia D- C+
Prince Edward Island D+ C-
New Brunswick N/A* C-
Manitoba D F
Yukon D+ D
Federal Government B+ N/A*
Newfoundland and Labrador C N/A*
North West Territories F N/A*
Alberta D N/A*

**** Too soon to evaluate the new government’s performance on regulatory accountability


Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island took a big step in 2015 on the leadership front by committing to a common approach to measuring and publicly reporting the regulatory burden on businesses and citizens. “Kudos to Nova Scotia for recently legislating those requirements,” added Chera.

British Columbia remains the only jurisdiction with an A grade, demonstrating its continued leadership on cutting red tape by declaring the first ever “Red tape reduction day” in Canada, renewing its no-net-new regulation commitment through 2019. While Manitoba suffered the largest drop, falling from a D to an F as a result of the Province’s failure to act on their commitment to reduce red tape on businesses from the 2014 ThroneSpeech. “For governments that want a better grade, red tape reform has a simple formula: measure, report, repeat,” concluded Chera.  

Government red tape is a hidden tax that affects Canada’s small businesses much more than larger firms. The annual cost of all regulations on businesses in Canada is pegged at $37 billion per year, with one-third of that ($11 billion) considered red tape. In Saskatchewan, all federal, provincial and municipal regulations cost businesses $927 million per year, $278 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 [email protected]. You may follow CFIB Saskatchewan on Twitter @cfibsk.

For more details about the report card, visit To arrange an interview with Satinder Chera, please contact Ryan Mallough at 416-222-8022 or [email protected].

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.

January 19, 2016

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