CFIB’s Red Tape Report Card hands out record number of As

Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Nova Scotia lead the pack, but lots of work left to do

Winnipeg, January 22, 2019 – After ten years of helping federal and provincial governments understand the importance of red tape reduction through Red Tape Awareness Week™, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) Red Tape Report Card is awarding more A grades than ever before.

“Ten years ago most governments didn’t even know how many rules they were imposing on their constituents—a shocking lack of accountability when you consider that regulations cost citizens a lot of time and money,” said Laura Jones, CFIB’s executive vice-president. “The good news is that our report card shows more governments than ever are being transparent with respect to the hidden tax of regulation and many have put limits on its growth. That’s an important start so the real work of reducing red tape can begin.”

“We are very pleased to see that Manitoba continues to be a leader on red tape reduction,” said Jonathan Alward, CFIB’s Director of Provincial Affairs for Manitoba. “The province has taken on ambitious red tape reduction goals, and is accomplishing them because of strong political leadership, innovative tools, and a dedicated civil service. This hard work is making a positive difference for Manitoba’s small businesses.”

This is how CFIB’s Red Tape Report Card shapes up for 2019:

Grade Province
A Manitoba
A Saskatchewan
A Nova Scotia
A- British Columbia
A- Ontario
B+ Federal government
D Prince Edward Island
D Newfoundland and Labrador
F Alberta
F Yukon
F Northwest Territories
N/A Quebec*
N/A New Brunswick*

*Quebec and New Brunswick are both noted as not applicable 
as there have been recent changes in government and direction on red tape reduction remains unclear.

“When the report card was launched the highest grade was a B+, earned by British Columbia. Today there is a record breaking number of As. We haven’t changed the standard, which means governments are rising to the challenge of measuring, reporting and generally being a lot more accountable with respect to this important way they affect our lives,” added Jones. “We plan to keep grading accountability as we know getting an A is one thing, but keeping it is another. We also want to turn our attention to municipal governments.”

CFIB’s report card grades governments along three criteria: strong leadership, comprehensive measurement of the regulatory burden, and whether or not the government has put a cap on regulations in place. It does not compare provinces on how much regulation is in place, but on their regulatory accountability and transparency, which are essential for successful red tape reduction.

Here are the report card grades for previous years:

Jurisdiction 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
British Columbia B+ A A A A A A A
Alberta F D D+ D D N/A F F
Saskatchewan C+ B- C B B B B A-
Manitoba F F D- D- D F D+ A
Ontario C- B- B B B+ B+ B- C+
Quebec C+ B- B B+ B+ B+ A A
New Brunswick C- C+ B- B N/A C- C+ C-
Prince Edward Island D F D- D+ D+ C- C+ C-
Nova Scotia B D D C- D- C+ B A-
Newfoundland and Labrador B B B C+ C N/A C C-
Federal government C+ B- B+ B+ B+ N/A B B-
Northwest Territories F F D- F F N/A F F
Yukon F D D- D D+ D N/A D

N/A = Too soon after an election to know the government’s regulatory accountability commitments

Some important highlights over the years:

  • BC has consistently received A grades over the past 8 years (the highest number across the country) and has become a model for regulatory accountability and reform for other jurisdictions in Canada and internationally.
  • Manitoba holds the record for the greatest improvement in one year, going from a D+ in 2017 to an A in 2018 for its comprehensive measurement and its ground-breaking law to eliminate two rules for every new one until 2021 and then one-for-one after that.
  • Nova Scotia and Saskatchewan improved their grades to As by setting clear targets for reduction, measuring the burden and showing political leadership.
  • Alberta holds the provincial record for worst grades over time, getting Ds and Fs since the report card was created.
  • CFIB’s Red Tape Report Card has been suggested as a benchmark for all provinces by the federal government’s Economic Strategy Tables in their “Innovation and Competitiveness Imperative” report.

To arrange an interview with Jonathan Alward, Director of Provincial Affairs for Manitoba, please call 1 888-234-2232, 204-982-0817 or email You can also follow CFIB Manitoba on Twitter @cfibMB.

About CFIB
The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) is Canada’s largest association of small and medium-sized businesses with 110,000 members (4,800 in Manitoba) 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.