CFIB reveals Canada-wide nominees for red tape reduction award

Winner of the ‘Golden Scissors’ to be announced January 27

Toronto, January 18, 2017 – In the lead-up to Red Tape Awareness Week™ 2017 (January 23-27), the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) has announced the finalists for its Golden Scissors Award, which honours an elected official or others in government who have shown leadership and delivered meaningful results in cutting red tape for small business.

Nominations were gathered from across the country and across all levels of government. The winner of the 2017 Golden Scissors Award will be unveiled on Friday, January 27.

The finalists are:

Finalists Action taken to reduce red tape

Honourable Christy Clark, Premier of British Columbia

Honourable Coralee Oakes, Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction

With the support of Premier Christy Clark, Minister Coralee Oakes introduced legislation to an annual Red Tape Reduction Day, dedicated entirely to repealing outdated regulations and provisions – with the enviable distinction of being the first of its kind in North America. The initiative included adding a suggestion button to the BC government website, and a regular red tape reduction report card so that citizens could see what progress had been made. In its first year, the government repealed 37 items, resulting in the removal of over 215 red tape headaches.

Honourable Brad Duguid, Minister of Economic Development and Growth

Red Tape Challenge Team, Open For Business Division, Ministry of Economic Development and Growth

The Minister introduced the Red Tape Challenge as part of Ontario’s Business Growth Initiative. The Challenge is conducted through an online portal where Ontarians may submit ideas to cut red tape within seven industry sectors. After a two-month consultation on submissions for each sector, the government publishes a report on the regulations identified by the public alongside a proposed plan of action. Consultations for two sectors have already been completed and the government has received hundreds of submissions covering more than 200 regulations. The first report was released on November 30.

Honourable Brad Duguid, Minister of Economic Development and Growth

The Minister also introduced The Burden Reduction Act, 2016, which contains measures that amend 50 statutes across 11 different Ontario government ministries, all aimed at targeting red tape headaches for business owners. Measures include eliminating the need for an Order in Council to establish programs, giving the minister authority to create or amend them for industry needs as they arise; modernizing commercial arbitration rules; and mediating for disputes between suppliers and consumers.

Fred Crooks, Chief Regulatory Officer – Nova Scotia’s Joint Office of Regulatory Affairs and Service Effectiveness

Mr. Crooks created an innovative costing and measurement tool that measures the cost of red tape so that any new regulatory cost is offset with an equal reduction in the cost to business. This year, close to a million dollars in savings for businesses have been achieved by aligning record-keeping requirements, moving apprenticeship forms online, creating new online license bundles, exempting home-based businesses from commercial requirements.

Honourable Greg Ottenbreit, Saskatchewan Minister for Rural and Remote Health

Honourable Dustin Duncan, Former Saskatchewan Minister of Health

As a result of the tireless efforts of Minister Ottenbreit and former Minister Duncan, Saskatchewan became the first province in Canada to amend the Food Safety Regulations to specifically address the operation of home-based baking businesses. Inspired by cottage food laws in the USA,the new regulations permit home-based food processors to prepare low-risk foods which do not require refrigeration (including breads, biscuits, cookies,pastries, jams, candies, etc.) in their own homes for resale in stores and the public at large. These amendments will enable hundreds of such businesses across Saskatchewan to expand their operations.

Raynelle Wilson, Director Saskatchewan Enterprise Initiatives Office

Barry Watson, Manager Liquor Licensing, Saskatchewan

Wilson and Watson were the drivers behind the reduction of red tape on cottage wineries and microdistilleries, while ensuring the responsible sale of craft alcohol. Craft producers can now charge for samples & full size servings in hospitality suites; open a 2nd retail outlet; sell other Sask-made craft alcohol (not just theirs) in their outlets; determine their own prices regardless of where the product is sold; warehouse and age products at another location; and sell ciders and coolers in 2-litre growlers. These changes have made compliance with regulations less onerous and time consuming, and have led to increased production and business growth.

Paul Glover, President, Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA)

Gérard Étienne, Vice President, Operations Branch

Tony Ritchie, Executive Director, Inspection Support, CFIA

Matthew Scoppa, Director (Ask CFIA Implementation)

Michelle Yakimchuk, Director (Ask CFIA Development)

This diligent team at CFIA created a one-stop online service called Ask CFIA which allows agri-business owners to send in questions on regulatory guidance or to receive technical expertise. The portal also provides a one-stop FAQ and tools for self-service information. It delivers accurate and timely written answers in plain language,as well as reference numbers for tracking.In the first 12 weeks, the response from industry has been terrific: 160 enquiries and 10,116 unique visits all answered quickly and accurately.

Lise Thériault, Deputy Premier of Quebec and Minister responsible for Small and Medium Enterprises, Regulatory Streamlining and Regional Economic Development

The Deputy Premier introduced the 2016-2018 Government Action Plan on Regulatory and Administrative Streamlining. The Plan is the result of extensive consultations with close to 50 business associations who presented more than 250 recommendations, and sets out rigorous requirements and ambitious goals to reduce red tape costs by 10% over the 2016-2018 period. Among its many highlights, it pledges to reduce processing times for registration and permits, to reduce the number of required forms, and to extend the duration of certain permits. This plan is a testament to Mrs. Theriault’s leadership and commitment.

Bill Robinson, President and CEO of Alberta Liquor and Gaming Commission (ALGC)

Under Robinson’s leadership, the ALGC introduced new rules that allow patios to stay open later to match the actual opening hours of the bar or lounge. Closing times of 2am now apply to all areas of an establishment. Fewer lines, more employee work hours and increased sales are being celebrated by business owners. Modernizing this regulation allows establishments to better manage occupancy levels during peak hours because they are no longer required to move everyone in from the patio at midnight. The change has provided a much needed boost in tough times for the hospitality industry.


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 ($11 billion) of that unnecessary red tape, according to a 2015 CFIB report.

To arrange an interview with Laura Jones, please contact Kiara Morrissey at 416-222-8022, 647-464-2814 or by email at

CFIB is Canada’s largest association of small and medium-sized businesses with 109,000 members across every sector and region.