Red Tape Report Card: Governments getting good grades for accountability—now it’s time to reduce the burden

Toronto, January 21, 2020 – For the first time in its 10-year history, most governments are receiving an A or a B on the Red Tape Report Card, announced the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB). 

“Ten years ago governments didn’t think it was important to be accountable for regulation in the same way they are accountable for spending and taxes. This is pretty incredible when you think about how important regulation is and how destructive excessive regulation or red tape can be,” said Laura Jones, CFIB’s executive vice-president.

This year’s report card includes additional information on burden and on openness to removing interprovincial red tape irritants. These two new categories are not yet graded but will be next year. 

The 2020 Red Tape Report Card grades are:

Jurisdiction 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
British Columbia B+ A A A A A A A A- A-
Alberta F D D+ D D N/A F F F B-
Saskatchewan C+ B- C B B B B A- A A
Manitoba F F D- D- D F D+ A A A
Ontario C- B- B B B+ B+ B- C+ A- A-
Quebec C+ B- B B+ B+ B+ A A N/A A
New Brunswick C- C+ B- B N/A C- C+ C- N/A B+
Prince Edward Island D F D- D+ D+ C- C+ C- D N/A
Nova Scotia B D D C- D- C+ B A- A A
Newfoundland and Labrador B B B C+ C N/A C C- D D
Federal government C+ B- B+ B+ B+ N/A B B- B+ B+


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

“It’s exciting to evolve the report card. An interesting picture is emerging. Some provinces, like Ontario, get good grades for being accountable but still have relatively high regulatory burdens. British Columbia stands out for having a long track record of measurement and has done a good job reducing its requirements to a fraction of the regulatory restrictions of the more heavily regulated provinces. Quebec is really committed to measurement and reduction. Manitoba is also one to watch for ongoing good grades with arguably the best measurement methodology and a strong commitment to reducing interprovincial red tape,” said Jones.     

CFIB’s current report card is based on three simple criteria: political leadership; measurement and whether there is some form of regulatory budget in place (such as a reduction target or one-in-one-out policy). Information on regulatory burden and interprovincial red tape is included in the appendix. 
“When we started grading governments, we had a lot of underachievers—most didn’t even know how many rules and regulations they were piling on their citizens and businesses. We’re proud to see so many governments at the top of the class when it comes to regulatory accountability,” concluded Jones. “We are confident that they will take these new challenges in stride and continue the important work of reducing the red tape burden for the benefit of all Canadians.”

For more information on this year’s grades and the new criteria on which governments will be graded in the next edition, consult the 2020 Red Tape Report Card.

For media enquiries or interviews, please contact:
Milena Stanoeva, CFIB

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