Red Tape Awareness Week™ (January 18-22) to spotlight $11 billion impact of government red tape on small business

Toronto, January 13, 2016 – Government red tape is an $11 billion hidden tax that affects small businesses much more than larger firms. Entering its seventh year, Canada’s Red Tape Awareness Week™ (January 18-22) will look at which governments are making progress and which are lagging when it comes to reducing unnecessary rules and paperwork on entrepreneurs.

“Red Tape Awareness Week has accomplished a lot in its seven years,” said Satinder Chera, vice-president at the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB). “In past years, we have seen the following types of announcements during the week – a list we hope to add to next week:

  • The Federal Government announced a red tape reduction action plan, including a Commission to which CFIB was appointed to make recommendations for relief;
  • British Columbia effectively announced a 1-for-1 rule, eliminating one existing regulatory requirement when a new requirement is needed; and,
  • Ontario announced consultations with businesses, resulting in a five-point action plan to fix some hefty record-keeping requirements, including workers compensation forms.”

CFIB will make the following announcements next week:

Monday, January 18

  • Red tape is stopping entrepreneurs at the border. The Canada/US Border Report will reveal just how ‘free’ it is for businesses trading with our neighbours to the south.

Tuesday, January 19

  • It’s Report Card Day. Time to see which governments are making the grade when it comes to red tape accountability.

Wednesday, January 20

  • CFIB announces the winner of the Paperweight Award, recognizing the worst example(s) of government red tape impacting small business. Finalists will be announced January 14th.

Thursday, January 21

  • Red tape hits the farmstead too. We look at the impact of government rules and paperwork on Canadian farmers.

Friday, January 22

  • Red Tape Awareness Week™ ends on a high note, with CFIB announcing the winner of the Golden Scissors Award, given to the politician or public servant who has made the biggest impact on freeing entrepreneurs from red tape. Finalists will be announced January 15th.

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, according to a 2015 report by CFIB.

For more information about Red Tape Awareness Week, please visit or contact Ryan Mallough at        416-222-8022 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.