Ontario earns A- in CFIB’s Red Tape Report Card

Toronto, January 31, 2024 – Ontario scored a strong A- (8.7/10) in the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB)’s 2024 Red Tape Report Card released today as part of its 15th annual Red Tape Awareness Week™. The grade is up from last year’s B+ and places Ontario after the only two provinces to achieve an A (Alberta and Nova Scotia). 

“We commend the Ontario government for keeping the pedal to the metal on red tape reduction since 2018,” said Julie Kwiecinski, CFIB’s Ontario director of provincial affairs. “They’ve remained accountable and transparent on this important file by continuing initiatives such as a comprehensive measure of the regulatory burden on businesses and annual burden reduction reports with updated regulatory counts for each Ministry.”

CFIB’s 2024 Red Tape Report Card grades the federal government and provinces in three key areas: Regulatory Accountability (40%), Regulatory Burden (40%), and Political Priority (20%). This year, bonus points were awarded to provinces like Ontario for progress on measuring and reducing the physician administrative burden.

Ontario, Alberta and Nova Scotia topped all provinces on Political Priority, scoring an A (10/10). This high grade for Ontario acknowledges, for example, that red tape reduction is a clear priority championed by Premier Ford and his Cabinet.

The province received a B (7.8/10) for Regulatory Burden, scoring full points for the red tape feedback mechanism on the Government of Ontario home page and for continuing to introduce two burden reduction bills every year. To improve its Regulatory Burden score, CFIB recommends that the Ontario government continue to reduce its total number of regulatory restrictions and knock down barriers to internal trade (e.g., start allowing direct-to-consumer shipment of alcohol products from other provinces and territories to Ontario).

Ontario received a solid B+ (8.4/10) for Regulatory Accountability, scoring full points for public reporting of the regulatory burden, and regulatory budget. To raise its Regulatory Accountability grade, CFIB again urges the Ontario government to count the regulatory burden on citizens, not just businesses. We also encourage the government to publish regulatory documents in a machine-readable format. This would improve transparency by allowing external access to raw government data, so outside parties could, for example, verify and assess the government’s regulatory burden counts.

“It’s important for the Ontario government to stay focused on reducing excessive, duplicative and unnecessary rules that prevent businesses from recovering and growing,” said Kwiecinski. “Many rules exist to protect health, safety, and the environment, but some are just roadblocks to business success.” 

People and businesses can share their red tape frustrations directly with the Ontario government at https://www.ontario.ca/page/ministry-red-tape-reduction.

For media inquiries or interviews, please contact:
Dariya Baiguzhiyeva, CFIB

About CFIB
The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) is Canada’s largest association of small- and medium-sized businesses with 97,000 members across every industry and region, including 38,000 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 cfib.ca.