The Alberta government is receiving its highest grade of a ‘B-’ on the Canadian Federation of Independent Business annual Red Tape Report Card.
The federation presented the grade to Premier Jason Kenney and the Associate Minister of Red Tape Reduction, Grant Hunter, during an event in Calgary.
After eight years of failing grades this is the first time the Alberta government is receiving a ‘B-‘. The biggest change from previous years is the government’s strong leadership in making red tape reduction a top priority by committing to measure the regulatory burden in Alberta and reduce regulations by one-third in four years.
“It’s clear the Alberta government is committed to red tape reduction,” said Laura Jones, CFIB’s executive vice-president. “We are pleased to see the government taking meaningful action on reducing red tape irritants by launching the cut red tape website and working to develop a count and comprehensive measure of the regulatory burden in Alberta.”
“After years of inaction by previous governments it’s encouraging see Alberta receive its highest grade on the Red Tape Report Card,” said Annie Dormuth, CFIB’s Alberta provincial affairs director. “The government has demonstrated that with strong political leadership progress can be made to reduce red tape for small businesses and all Albertans.”
The province received an “F’ in 2019, 2018, and 2017, and a ‘D’ in 2014 and 2015.
The recent grade for B.C. and Ontario governments was A-, and an ‘A’ for Quebec, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.
The Alberta government is also a finalist this year for the federation’s Golden Scissors Award which honours governments who have taken the initiative to cut red tape. With the cut red tape website, the government is listening to red tape concerns from small businesses and the public and looking at ways to fix their red tape headaches. To date, the website has received over 4,000 submissions, 130 of which the government has acted on and is currently looking at ways to address another 240. The winners and honourable mentions for the Golden Scissors Award will be announced on Jan. 23.
The report card is based on three simple criteria: political leadership; measurement and whether there is some form of regulatory budget in place (such as a reduction target or one-in-one-out policy). Information on regulatory burden and interprovincial red tape is included in the appendix. This year’s report card includes additional information on burden and on openness to removing interprovincial red tape irritants. These two new categories are not yet graded but will be next year.