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Saskatchewan gets ‘A’ from CFIB for cutting red tape

Saskatchewan’s efforts to reduce red tape received the highest ‘A’ grade ranking by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business. File / Global News

Saskatchewan’s efforts to reduce red tape received the highest ‘A’ grade ranking by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) in their 2019 national report card.

CFIB said the province improved from an ‘A-’ in 2018 by setting clear targets for reduction, measuring the burden, and showing political leadership.

“We commend the province for having both a calculator (Direct Cost Estimator) to cost out individual regulations and a broad measure of regulatory requirements,” Laura Jones, the CFIB’s executive vice-president, said in a press release.

“It is impressive that to date the use of the DCE has resulted in over $202 million in cumulative, forecasted red tape savings over the next 10 years.”

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Saskatchewan’s Minister of Trade and Export Development Jeremy Harrison said a healthy regulatory framework is widely linked to economic growth and the level of prosperity of a region.

“Knowing this, the government of Saskatchewan is committed to reducing red tape by focusing on smarter regulations, establishing a government-wide standard to ensure all regulations remain relevant, needed and cost effective for impacted stakeholders,” Harrison said in a statement.

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“Red tape costs businesses, residents and the government $300 million and thousands of hours in lost time every year, and for the past decade.”

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The red tape report card grades governments on strong leadership, comprehensive measurement of the regulatory burden, and whether or not the government has put a cap on regulations in place.

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CFIB awarded a record number of ‘A’s this year, with Manitoba and Nova Scotia also at the top of the class.

The federal government’s grade improved to a ‘B+’ in 2019, up from a ‘B-’ grade in 2018. Alberta was the lone province to receive an ‘F’ this year.

“Ten years ago most governments didn’t even know how many rules they were imposing on their constituents — a shocking lack of accountability when you consider that regulations cost citizens a lot of time and money,” Jones said.

“The good news is that our report card shows more governments than ever are being transparent with respect to the hidden tax of regulation and many have put limits on its growth. That’s an important start so the real work of reducing red tape can begin.”

The new grades were announced Tuesday along with the launch of a new Help Cut Red Tape web page, available to all Saskatchewan people and businesses who want to report red tape irritants they have encountered in the province.

“We also thank (Saskatchewan) for listening to small business owners and introducing the ‘Help Cut Red Tape’ web page, which is an easy, practical way for entrepreneurs to submit their red tape headaches directly to the government and have them addressed,” Jones said.

The provincial government said each submission from the public will be referred to the appropriate ministry, agency or Crown corporation for effective follow-up.

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CFIB is Canada’s largest association of small and medium-sized businesses with 110,000 members across every industry and region.

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