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The 2012–2013 Scorecard Report: Implementing the Red Tape Reduction Action Plan

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7. Conclusion

“By reforming the regulatory system, the Government is freeing Canadian businesses from unnecessary red tape so they can focus on creating jobs for Canadian workers and expanding their enterprises. In this way, the red tape reduction reforms are helping to secure Canada’s long-term economic prosperity.”

Government of Canada, Canada’s Economic Action Plan, 2013

7.1 Summary of current progress

Reducing regulatory red tape helps support a flourishing and healthy business environment, which is the foundation for creating jobs and long-term prosperity.

As demonstrated through this first Annual Scorecard Report, the Government is off to a very promising start in implementing the systemic regulatory reforms, with clear evidence of momentum and encouraging progress achieved in 2012–2013. An effective mechanism to cap administrative burden on business has been built.  Moreover, the regulatory system is now more transparent and predictable. Perhaps most important of all, a solid foundation for further, sustained progress has been established.

Since the One-for-One Rule came into effect in 2012, the Government has controlled, and even reduced, the administrative burden imposed by regulation on businesses.

In relation to the Small Business Lens, there are some early signs that regulators are becoming more sensitive to the challenges that small businesses face in complying with regulation.  Regulators have also become more transparent in describing the small business impacts of their regulations when these are published in the Canada Gazette.

With 32 newly posted forward regulatory plans, Canadians and businesses now have access to details on 460 regulatory initiatives to come over the next two years. This information can now be used by businesses and Canadians to plan ahead and to participate in the regulatory development process.

In addition, regulators posted service standards for 24 high-volume regulatory authorizations and processes on their Acts and Regulations Web pages. These service standards help make the regulatory system more predictable for Canadians and businesses when applying to conduct a regulated activity, and can lead to a better overall service experience.

The Government has also gone beyond the Red Tape Reduction Action Plan’s commitments by requiring regulators to create standardized Acts and Regulations Web pages that make regulatory information easier to find and provide a more consistent user experience for Canadians and businesses.

7.2 Moving forward

The Government’s Red Tape Reduction Action Plan is one of the most ambitious regulatory red tape-cutting exercises in the world today. Moving forward, the Government will continue to stay the course in implementing the following Action Plan commitments:

  • Through the Administrative Burden Baseline initiative, regulators will develop and maintain an inventory of requirements in regulation that impose administrative burden on business, thereby providing additional assurance of the Government’s commitment to monitoring and reporting on regulatory red tape. Once established, these inventories will help regulators manage their stock of regulatory requirements. This information will be posted on departmental Acts and Regulations Web pages by fall 2014 and updated annually thereafter.
  • The Government will follow through on its commitment to legislate the One-for-One Rule. In doing so, Canada will be the first country to give such a rule the weight of legislation.
  • Regulators will publish interpretation policies that clarify how they interpret regulations and when stakeholders can expect to receive answers to their questions in writing. These interpretation policies will be published on departmental Acts and Regulations Web pages later this year.
  • Regulators will continue to implement the 90 department-specific actions recommended by the Red Tape Reduction Commission. The vast majority of these will be implemented by the applicable regulator(s) by the end of 2015–2016.

For those systemic reforms that were implemented in 2012–2013, the Government hopes to demonstrate even more promising results in the next Annual Scorecard Report.

Efforts to target and control the regulatory burden on business (particularly small businesses) will continue through the ongoing implementation of the One-for-One Rule and the Small Business Lens. It is expected that more evidence of the impact of the Lens will be demonstrated next year as more regulatory proposals come forward to Cabinet for final approval.

Ensuring greater transparency and predictability within the federal regulatory system will also remain a priority for the Government. In this regard, regulators will continue to update their forward regulatory plans on a semi-annual basis to ensure that Canadians and businesses are provided with current information on planned regulatory changes to be implemented over the next two years. Regulators will also continue to develop and release new service standards for their high-volume regulatory authorizations until all such processes are governed by a commitment to timely service delivery. Furthermore, starting in June 2014, regulators will report annually on their performance against all of their publicly available service standards for these authorizations.

The Government’s Red Tape Reduction Action Plan reinforces Canada’s reputation as one of the best places in the world to do business. Moving forward, the Government is committed to fostering even better conditions for doing business in Canada while continuing to protect the health and safety of Canadians through an effective and efficient regulatory system.

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