Red Tape Reduction Week Starts Tomorrow
Prince George, B.C.- Tomorrow marks the start of Red Tape Reduction week in Canada, and the goods news, says Canadian Federation of Independent Business V.P for BC/Alberta, Richard Truscott, is that efforts are being made to reduce red tape right across the country.“We’ve seen governments wake up to this issue” says Truscott, ” They are looking at things through the eyes of business owners and they realize there’s a problem and that’s good news.”
Truscott says there is no one particular regulation which is causing concern “Focusing on specific irritants is helpful, but even better is making sure there are constraints on regulators for the overall mountain or rules and regulations that are put on the backs of business owners.”
He says one of the ways governments can help is by capping the total number of regulations “Passing what is called the one in, one out rule, so for every new rule or regulation that governments bring in, they have to find something of at least equivalent value to retire so that the number of rules regulations and requirements does not grow over time.”
British Columbia has been praised in the past by the CFIB for reducing red tape, in fact it has been acknowledged as one of the best in Canada. This year is no different, with B.C. Premier Christy Clark and Minister of Small Business Coralee Oakes nominated for the Golden Scissors Award for introducing legislation to an annual Red Tape Reduction Day, dedicated entirely to repealing outdated regulations and provisions. The legislation is the first of its kind in North America. The initiative included adding a suggestion button to the BC government website, and a regular red tape reduction report card so that citizens can the progress being made. In its first year, the government repealed 37 items, resulting in the removal of over 215 red tape headaches.
“BC is by no means perfect on this front” says Truscott “But they have been paying attention for the last decade and it’s starting to pay off. The B.C. Government, to its credit, are real leaders on this front. While the policies aren’t always small business friendly in some other areas, on regulatory reform they certainly have been focused, taking action, and showing real leadership.”
Truscott says rules, regulations and requirements can deter small business from growing ” In fact, according to our survey information, about a quarter of all small business owners say they may not have gone into business if they had known about the burden of regulation and red tape. That really says to me that we’ve got a serious problem and it’s a major issue. If we’ve got business owners out there who are busy filling out forms, ticking boxes and searching web sites for information, that means they are not doing what they should be doing and what they love to do and that is building their business, creating jobs and serving their customers and clients.” He says productivity would improve if owners could get back to the business of running their business.
The CFIB estimates the annual cost of all regulations on businesses in Canada at $37 billion a year.