HALIFAX – The province of Nova Scotia has earned a grade of D in reforming the regulatory burden on small business according to the yearly Red Tape Report Card that was issued Tuesday by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business as part of Canada’s fourth annual Red Tape Awareness Week.
Nova Scotia received a grade of D last year, and a B in 2011.
“It’s disappointing that Nova Scotia is once again at the bottom of the pile this year” said Jennifer English, Senior Policy Analyst, Atlantic Canada. “Just two years ago we were a national leader on the red tape file, but since achieving the targets set out under the Better Regulation initiative, government has made no meaningful progress on reducing the red tape burden for Nova Scotia’s SMEs.”
The report card evaluates federal and provincial governments’ progress on regulatory reform. It looks at political leadership, efforts to measure the regulatory burden, long-term thinking, and the overall public policy context. Provincial and Territorial grades run the gamut from the A earned by British Columbia to the D- assessments earned by Prince Edward Island, Manitoba, Northwest Territories and Yukon. The federal government earned a B+.
“Given the stagnant state of Nova Scotia’s economy, the Province would do well to look to regulatory reform as a cost-effective way to stimulate activity,” English said. “By making it easier to comply with the province’s numerous rules and requirements, business owners will have more time and resources to grow their businesses. And that benefits all Nova Scotians.”
Overall, the federal government has shown the most improvement of any jurisdiction. The government of Ontario has been active on the issue last year, and is the province to watch in 2013.
“Hard-working entrepreneurs consistently tell us that excessive, and unnecessary regulation and paperwork is one of the biggest impediments they face,” said CFIB executive vice president Laura Jones. “The Red Tape Report Card is CFIB’s way of praising political leaders who are making a difference for small business, and pointing out which jurisdictions still have a lot of work to do.”
To read the full Red Tape Report Card, please visit www.cfib.ca.