The grades are in: Red tape progress across Canada is a mixed bag

Annual report card finds reasons for optimism, but all jurisdictions have work to do

TORONTO, Jan. 28, 2014 /CNW/ - The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) released its 4th annual Red Tape Report Card today, and the grades were all over the map.

British Columbia once again led the way with an A, while the federal government, Saskatchewan, Quebec, Ontario and New Brunswick all received grades in the B range. Other provinces and territories failed to impress, with grades of C or worse.

The report card is primarily assessing progress on regulatory accountability. The main criteria for success are measurement of, and publicly reporting on, the regulatory burden.

Jurisdiction 2013 Grade 2014 Grade
British Columbia   A   A
Federal Government   B+   B+
Quebec   B   B+
Saskatchewan   C   B
Ontario   B   B
New Brunswick   B-   B
Newfoundland and Labrador   B   C+
Nova Scotia   D   C-
Prince Edward Island   D-   D+
Alberta   D+   D
Yukon   D-   D
Manitoba   D-   D-
Northwest Territories   D-   F

"This is a report card on the basics. It's not that hard to do well," said Laura Jones, CFIB's executive vice-president. "Red tape reform has a simple formula: Measure, report, repeat. You can't get where you're going if you don't know where you are."

Many of the grades represent a significant step forward from five years ago, before the first Red Tape Awareness Week, when many jurisdictions did not even acknowledge red tape as a problem. Today, five provinces and the federal government are committed to measuring and reporting, and several jurisdictions have "one-in-one-out" rules to keep new regulations in check.

"Some jurisdictions are much further along than others, but each has its share of challenges," added Jones. "Even those that measure are not always capturing the full spectrum of regulatory requirements. So there is still a lot of work do, but we are getting there."

Canadians are encouraged to show their support for CFIB's Red Tape Revolution by signing the on-line petition ( that will be delivered to governments.

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


SOURCE: Canadian Federation of Independent Business

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