The Alberta government is getting a thumbs up for its work on red tape reduction over the past year and a half.
The Canadian Federation of Independent Business upgraded Alberta to an A from last year’s B-minus grade for its efforts. It was the first time in the 11-year history of the CFIB red tape report card that Alberta had earned an A-grade.
CFIB estimates that between May 1, 2019 and June 30, 2020, Alberta’s government cut red tape by more than six per cent. To date, the government says they have cut red tape by more than nine per cent and saved Albertans more than $476 million.
In 2020, the cost for businesses in Alberta to comply with regulations was about $4.6 billion. Since the Ministry of Red Tape Reduction was formed in June 2019, they have cut thousands of regulatory requirements across government. Before the B-minus in last year’s report card, Alberta had received an F in the previous three years.
“Over a short period of time, the Alberta government has taken significant steps toward regulatory accountability, including releasing its comprehensive measure in November,” said Laura Jones, executive vice-president, CFIB.
“We encourage the government to build on this work and continue to make red tape reduction a priority, which is more important now than ever as governments plan for economic recovery.”
Jones said that the report card started as a way to hold governments accountable for regulations, in the same way, they are beholden to taxpayers for spending.
Manitoba, Nova Scotia and Saskatchewan also received an A-grade this year. Alberta placed second overall and earned the highest score of all the provinces in both the regulatory accountability and regulatory burden sections.
In the past year, Alberta still managed to cut a number of regulations despite the COVID-19 pandemic. That included allowing liquor to be sold through takeout and delivery, clarifying that liquor manufacturers can produce hand sanitizers, amending nursing home regulations to allow nurse practitioners to act as primary care providers in nursing homes and introducing virtual doctor visits.
“It has been an honour to bring Alberta from a grade of F to an A in our government’s fight to get out of the way of our job creators,” said Grant Hunter, Associate Minister of Red Tape Reduction.
“We still have mountains to climb but I take my hat off to our hard-working team.”