Cutting through the red tape..

Posted Thursday, January 19th, 2012. Filed Under Corporate - Tips/Tools Blog

I am reading this article in the National Post called, RED TAPE: The silent killer of jobs written by Laura Jones. The article talks about how Prime Minister Stephen Harper acknowledges the destructive impact of excessive regulation in 2011 and wants to do something about it. The article actually is a comparison between the U.S. and Canada — saying that President Barack Obama feels the same way however Canada’s approach seems more promising in getting results and the P.M. is acting on this.

For this article, I want to focus on Canada rather than compare. What I find most amazing is how long it has taken our P.M. to do something about this. With nearly 98% of Canada made up of small-to-medium size businesses, the impact of red tape on these businesses has been paramount — just ask. All Stephen Harper had to do was ask. Any small business owner that I talk to says the same thing … “The paper work is killing us. There is duplication of rules and regulations in the municipal, provincial and federal requirements. The Canadian Federation of Independent Business estimates that regulation costs Canadian businesses more than $30 billion a year. Canadian business owners estimate regulatory costs could be reduced by about 25% – or $7.5 billion – without affecting legitimate health, safety and environmental regulatory objectives.

Thank goodness Stephen Harper is acting now. He created the Red Tape Reduction Committee to consult with small business owners across the country, collecting more than 2,300 examples of regulatory irritants. They complained about everything from bad customer service with Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA) to capricious enforcement of questionable rules that threaten the existence of some businesses. What I find astounding is that the Harper government has been part of the actual problem – growing the government to the largest it has ever been. That in itself creates inefficiencies. So what to do??? Committees? Interviews? I guess it’s a good start. I say it is time to JUST DO IT. Cut the red tape so that we can begin to be competitive and innovative and creative in the Canadian market and the world at large!

The first paper came out, What Was Heard, and this paper did not hold anything back. This paper asked for accountability from the regulators and government; to change the culture in the government to one that is more customer-centered. Stephen Harper says he is prepared to act — it is time to put your money where you mouth is. We can learn something from B.C. – they have reduced their red tape by 42% over the last 10 years and its reforms are widely credited with a dramatic improvement in the province’s economy.

It is good to see movement toward change in a positive direction for small business!

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