CFIB recognizes Ontario’s Red Tape Reduction Minister and Red Tape “SWAT” unit

Toronto, January 23, 2020 – Associate Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction Prabmeet Sarkaria and Deputy Minister Giles Gherson and the Business Relief Unit (BRU) are being recognized for their contributions to reducing Ontario’s regulatory burden, as part of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business’s (CFIB’s) 11th national annual Red Tape Awareness Week™. 

Giles Gherson (Deputy Minister, Small Business and Red Tape Reduction) and the BRU received one of only two national CFIB Golden Scissors Award Honorable Mentions for their work in investigating and fixing red tape issues identified through the government’s Cutting Red Tape web portal and other sources.  

“The BRU’s work is challenging and time-consuming, often requiring the equal commitment of several government Ministries to fix a single case,” said Julie Kwiecinski, CFIB’s Director of Provincial Affairs, Ontario. “From our experience, once they get a file, BRU team members pursue it with dogged determination, like a detective on a hot lead.”

Earlier this week, Minister Sarkaria was acknowledged as one of only 10 finalists for a national CFIB Golden Scissors Award for exempting hairdressers and barbers from the requirements to collect personal information before providing a haircut and keep a separate sink for cleaning tools.

“These rules were unnecessary and excessive for hairdressers and barbers,” said Kwiecinski. “Hairdressers and barbers told us that in addition to the cost and inconvenience of installing an extra sink, the customer registration rule was not being uniformly interpreted and enforced across the province.

“As one example, a public health unit incorrectly interpreted the rule to mean that the business had to create a manual registration book, even if the clients’ names and contact information were already available on computer. The hair salon lost business to other local hairdressers where the same rule wasn’t being applied,” added Kwiecinski. 

For media inquiries or interviews, please contact:
Milena Stanoeva, CFIB

About CFIB
The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) is Canada’s largest association of small- and medium-sized businesses with 110,000 members across every sector and region, including over 42,000 in Ontario. 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