Apr. 4, 2012, Ottawa — The federal government has taken a "good first step" to reduce red tape for small businesses, but more is still needed, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) said.
The CFIB issued a press release on April 3, noting that it was "pleased to see the federal government take its first step in better managing red tape on an on-going basis by announcing the implementation of the 'one-for-one' rule as of April 1."
One of the key recommendations coming out of the government's Red Tape Reduction Commission, the one-for-one measure will require regulators to offset an administrative burden of equal value each time they impose a new one.
"As the second highest priority among small business owners after total tax burden, any measure that limits the ability of government from continuing to add even more red tape will be welcomed by small business," said Catherine Swift, CFIB president.
The Red Tape Reduction Commission's report had a number of other recommendations that are important to the success of the government's plan to reduce red tape.
"The one-for-one rule is an important first step, but by itself will not be enough to reduce the regulatory burden felt by small businesses in this country," said Laura Jones, CFIB senior vice-president, research and Western Canada. "We still hope to see regular tracking and reporting of the overall regulatory burden coming from regulation and associated policies, as well as measures of government customer service for each department and agency."
"One of the critical factors for the success of a red tape initiative is ongoing leadership so we have been strongly encouraging the government to give the Office of the Auditor General of Canada a mandate to review and report on the progress in reducing regulatory administrative burden," added Swift.
In addition to asking that government provide a new mandate for the Auditor General, CFIB also recommended that there be a minister responsible for regulatory accountability whose duties would include overseeing publicly reported measures and ensuring commitments such as the one-for-one rule are kept.