WINNIPEG, MB. - The 2018 Red Tape Report Card was released and in Manitoba, federal, provincial and municipal regulations cost businesses $1.2 billion, $360 million of which is considered red tape.
The 2018 Red Tape Report Card, is the CFIB's annual rating of the federal, provincial and territorial governments on leadership and accountability in cutting red tape for small business.
This year’s report card reveals solid progress by several governments in the fight against excessive government regulation, needless paperwork, and redundant rules.
“A growing number of jurisdictions across the country are making red tape reduction a priority,” said Laura Jones, CFIB’s Executive Vice-President. “For years, CFIB and others have been working hard to convince governments that reducing excessive regulation has real potential to grow the economy, allowing business owners to focus their resources on innovating, improving productivity and expanding their business.”
The report card grades governments using three criteria: strong leadership, comprehensive measurement, and whether or not the government has made a commitment to control the growth of regulation.
This year, three provinces received ‘A’ grades—the most since the introduction of the report card in 2005. In British Columbia, successive governments have reduced regulatory requirements by 48 per cent since 2001, while Quebec has reduced its paper burden by approximately 22 per cent since 2004—saving businesses $303 million each year.
Manitoba, the other jurisdiction to earn an ‘A,’ had the biggest improvement from the previous year—in 2017, that province had a ‘D+’. The big jump is due to the province’s introduction of new initiatives to measure, track, report and reduce red tape, including a two-for-one regulatory reduction law (one-for-one after 2021) and the creation of a Red Tape Reduction Task Force.
“What we are seeing in Manitoba is truly remarkable,” added Jones. “This is a province moving from the back of the pack to head of the class in just one year. Manitoba’s success starts with political leadership. Without that, any red tape reduction stalls before it starts. It’s also got a great way to measure and a good law to manage it going forward.”
At the bottom of this year’s ratings is Alberta, which, for the second year in a row, received an ‘F’ grade, for failing to support any comprehensive strategy for measuring, reporting or controlling the regulatory burden.
“This year, there has been a lot of progress as more governments become more accountable for their regulatory burden,” Jones said. “While taking responsibility for red tape can be challenging, experience shows that it can be done if there is the will.”
Government red tape is a hidden tax that affects Canada’s small businesses much more than larger firms. According to CFIB’s latest research, the annual cost of all regulations on businesses in Canada is estimated at $36.2 billion per year, with one-third of that ($10 billion) considered to be red tape.
Manitoba Post with files from Canadian Federation of Independent Business