Alberta lags in cutting red tape, CFIB says

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by Morinville News Staff

British Columbia and Quebec lead the charge in cutting red tape while Alberta lags behind. This from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business who released their red tape report card Tuesday during Red Tape Awareness Week.

The annual Red Tape Report Card grades Canada’s provinces and territories on their commitment to red tape accountability, looking at political leadership, public measurement, and constraints on regulations.

Tuesday’s report gave the Alberta government a failing F grade.

“Reducing the regulatory burden is not a high priority for the Alberta government, in fact, it’s not a priority at all,” said Amber Ruddy, Director of Provincial Affairs for Alberta in Tuesday’s report card release. “Cutting red tape would inject a much-needed boost in the economy, but instead of taking action onerous rules are piling up on this government’s watch.”

The CFIB says it has been asking governments to cut red tape as a first step to being accountable to business.

“For governments that want a better grade, red tape reform has a simple formula: measure, report, repeat,” said Laura Jones, Executive Vice-president and Chief Strategic Officer at CFIB. “Without knowing the size of the problem, it’s impossible to tackle it – like trying to lose weight without first weighing yourself.”

Topping the CFIB Red Tape Report Card with an A rating were B.C. and Quebec. Saskatchewan, Nova Scotia, and the Federal Government received a B rating, while Ontario got a B-. Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick received C+ and Newfoundland and Labrador received a C rating. Manitoba hit a D+. Only Alberta and the North West Terrirories received the CFIB’s failing F rating.

The CFIB defines government red tape as a hidden tax that affects Canada’s small businesses much more than larger firms, .

The business organization cites their latest research as showing regulations across all three levels of government cost Alberta businesses about $4.6 billion annually, one-third of that ($1.5 billion) considered red tape by the CFIB.

Cardston-Taber-Warner MLA Grant Hunter announced he would introduce a private member’s bill that would legislate a one-for-one rule on new government regulations on businesses. If passed, for each new business regulation the Alberta government adds, one would have to be removed.

A one-for-one rule was passed into federal law in 2015 after being recommended by a federal commission in 2012.

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