Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat
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The “One-for-One” Rule

January 18, 2012


The Government has committed to reduce the regulatory burden to Canadian businesses and ensure they make investments in productivity and creating jobs rather then in meeting unnecessary regulatory requirements.

To achieve effective and lasting changes to the regulatory system, the Government introduced the Red Tape Reduction Commission in Budget 2010.

The Government is also implementing a “One-for-One” Rule to control administrative burdens on business.

Why is the “One-for-One” Rule important?

The “One-for-One” Rule will reduce administrative burden (i.e. the time and resources spent by business to show compliance with government regulations) in two ways:

  1. It requires regulators to remove a regulation each time they introduce a new regulation that imposes administrative burdens.
  2. When a new or amended regulation increases administrative burden on business, regulators will be required to offset—from their existing regulations—an equal amount of administrative burden costs on business.

How does it change current practices?

Businesses told the Red Tape Reduction Commission that a “One-for-One” Rule is necessary to control how often the Government turns to regulation to address issues within industry. They also indicated that the burden of existing regulation grows unchecked. 

The “One-for-One” Rule will now require ministers to remove at least one regulation each time they introduce a new one that imposes administrative burden on business. In addition, regulatory changes that increase administrative burden need to be offset with equal administrative burden reductions.   

How will success be measured?

Departments will use the Standard Cost Model to measure administrative burden. The Model is internationally accepted and the most widely used approach to determining the administrative burden costs of regulatory changes. The Model breaks down the regulation into the time and money business will spend on activities to show they comply with the regulation.