While Newfoundland government has shown regional leadership in its past commitment to measure, report and reduce the red tape burden for businesses, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) says its reporting efforts have wavered over the past year.
The CFIB is urging the province to get back on track to ensure it meets its zero-net growth promise.
The federation releases a year-end report card in early January, but determined a mid-year check could encourage and remind provinces to improve on last year’s grade to benefit the region’s job creators.
The mid-year update released today shows mixed results in Atlantic Canada.
While still the strongest, Newfoundland and Labrador saw its grade reduced slightly to a B-minus, while Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island received low but slightly improved grades of D-plus and D, respectively.
New Brunswick was given a C-minus.
“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, CFIB’s Atlantic vice-president.
“One of the best, low-cost stimulus measures governments can undertake is cutting red tape,” said Hachey, “it’s also a way to help boost productivity — an area where Atlantic Canada currently lags.”
The mid-year and final report card evaluates provincial governments’ progress on regulatory reform. It looks 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.