Canada’s red tape report card: Maritime Provinces leap forward

Canada’s red tape report card: Maritime Provinces leap forward


Alberta given a grace period to establish regulatory accountability

Calgary/Toronto, January, 2016 – On day two of Red Tape Awareness Week™, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) issued its annual red tape report card, grading the provinces and territories on their commitment to red tape accountability.  The report card looks at measurement, public reporting and political leadership.

CFIB has been asking governments to take the first step to being accountable by getting on the red tape scale.  Without knowing the size of the problem, it’s impossible to tackle it – like trying to lose weight without first weighing yourself.  “Seven years after CFIB started Red Tape Awareness Week™, those governments in Canada unwilling to weigh-in are now the exception rather than the rule,” said Satinder Chera, CFIB vice-president.

British Columbia A A
Quebec B+ B+
Ontario B+ B+
Saskatchewan B B
Nova Scotia D- C+
Prince Edward Island D+ C-
New Brunswick N/A* C-
Manitoba D F
Yukon D+ D
Federal Government B+ N/A*
Newfoundland and Labrador C N/A*
Northwest Territories F N/A*
Alberta D N/A*
**** Too soon to evaluate the new government’s performance on regulatory accountability

Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island took a big step in 2015 on the leadership front by committing to a common approach to measuring and publicly reporting the regulatory burden on businesses and citizens.  “Kudos to Nova Scotia for recently legislating those requirements,” added Chera.

“With the previous government, there was a revolving door of MLAs responsible for the red tape file and there is little to show for it,” said Amber Ruddy, CFIB’s Alberta Director.  “Small businesses are hopeful the Premier and Minister Bilous will roll up their sleeves and make red tape reduction the cornerstone of their small business plan,” said Ruddy.

British Columbia remains the only jurisdiction with an A grade, demonstrating its continued leadership on cutting red tape by declaring the first ever “Red tape reduction day” in Canada, renewing its no-net-new regulation commitment through 2019.  While Manitoba suffered the largest drop, falling from a D to an F as a result of the Province’s failure to act on their commitment to reduce red tape on businesses from the 2014 Throne Speech.  “For governments that want a better grade, red tape reform has a simple formula: measure, report, repeat,” concluded Chera.

Government red tape is a hidden tax that affects Canada’s small businesses much more than larger firms.  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.

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