Mixed results on red tape, CFIB says

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Government efforts to reduce red tape for businesses in Atlantic Canada have had mixed results, according to a mid-year report card from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business.

Leanne Hachey of the CFIB

Nova Scotia received a grade of D+, ahead only of Prince Edward Island among the four Atlantic provinces, although both provinces showed improvement, the report says.

While still the strongest province in the Atlantic region on red tape, Newfoundland and Labrador saw its grade reduced slightly.

“Red tape can be a real headache for small business owners who spend a significant amount of time and money filling out paperwork, dealing with government auditors and inspectors, finding information, being put on hold and bounced around,” said Leanne Hachey, the CFIB’s Atlantic vice-president.

“One of the best, low-cost stimulus measures governments can undertake is cutting red tape,” she said. “It’s also a way to help boost productivity, an area where Atlantic Canada currently lags.”

The mid-year and final report cards evaluate provincial governments’ progress on regulatory reform.

They look at measurement, political leadership, constraints on regulators and a legislated commitment to report.

“Without a commitment in these areas, red tape initiatives are doomed to fail,” Hachey said.

The results from the mid-year report card on red tape:

Newfoundland and Labrador – B-

New Brunswick – C-

Nova Scotia – D+

Prince Edward Island – D

Nova Scotia improved its grade slightly from January with a commitment to measure and maintain – not grow – the overall burden. However, few details have been released on what will be measured and how zero net-growth will be accomplished, the federation says.

“We’re hopeful those details will be known soon,” Hachey said.

Geographic location: Nova Scotia, Atlantic Canada, Prince Edward Island Newfoundland and Labrador New Brunswick

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