Red Tape Reduction Day Law wins national Golden Scissors Award for cutting red tape

Toronto, January 27, 2017 – To close out Red Tape Awareness Week™ 2017, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) announced this morning that the Honourable Christy Clark, Premier of BC, and the Honourable Coralee Oakes, Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction for BC, have been named the winners of the Golden Scissors award for leadership and producing meaningful results in cutting red tape for small businesses.

In 2015, BC became the first jurisdiction in North America to legislate an annual Red Tape Reduction Day, dedicated to repealing outdated regulations and improving government customer service.

In advance of the first Red Tape Reduction Day, held March 2, 2016, the government conducted an extensive online consultation where more than 400 ideas were submitted from the public. Each idea was reviewed and many have been acted on. The suggestion button is now permanent and citizens can see the status of their suggestions and the provincial response to them.

As a result of Red Tape Reduction Day:

  • The government repealed 37 onerous pieces of legislation.
  • Over 215 regulatory requirements were removed.
  • It now takes only 15 minutes to apply online for special occasion licenses to host parties or outdoor weddings, replacing an extensive amount of paperwork.
  • Transitioning military personnel and retired veterans no longer need additional testing as they transfer their truck driving credentials to commercial licences.
  • British Columbians can now get information and assistance to register to be an organ donor at any of the 62 Service BC locations.

Crucially, the BC government has committed to following up on every idea submitted.

“Once again, the Golden Scissors Award has brought together an impressive list of finalists from across Canada. The exceptional leadership shown by Premier Clark and Minister Oakes is a clear example of government officials’ outstanding commitment to cutting red tape on small businesses,” said Laura Jones, Executive Vice-President at CFIB. “They are true red tape warriors deserving of this honour.”

The winners, chosen from among strong nominations from across the country, received a trophy, a framed certificate and recognition on the CFIB website, Facebook page and other small business publications.

In addition to the winners, four Honourable Mentions were also announced today:

Honourable Mentions Actions taken to reduce red tape

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

Fred 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, and introducing a navigator service to help small businesses navigate the complex world of provincial rules, regulations, requirements and permits.

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

Minister Lise Thériault introduced the 2016-2018 Government Action Plan on Regulatory and Administrative Streamlining. The Plan sets out rigorous requirements and ambitious goals to reduce red tape costs by 10% over the 2016-2018 period.

Honourable Brad Duguid, Minister of Economic Development and Growth

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

Minister Brad Duguid 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. Consultations for two sectors have already been completed and the government has received hundreds of submissions covering more than 200 regulations.

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)

Paul Glover and his team created a one-stop online service for agri-businesses called Ask CFIA which allows business owners to send in a question on regulatory guidance or to receive technical expertise. It delivers accurate and timely written answers in plain language, as well as reference numbers for tracking.


See the full list of finalists.

Government red tape is a hidden tax affecting Canada’s small businesses much more than larger firms. Between Jan 23-27, CFIB presents the 8th edition of Red Tape Awareness Week to look at which governments are making progress and which are lagging when it comes to cutting through unnecessary rules and paperwork for entrepreneurs. The annual cost of all regulations on businesses in Canada is pegged at $37 billion per year, with one-third ($11 billion) considered 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

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