January 21, 2020

Saskatchewan Receives 'A' For Reducing Red Tape

The province has proclaimed January 20 to 24, as Red Tape Awareness Week.  The week highlights the importance of government ministries, agencies and Crown corporations’ efforts to reduce red tape and modernize regulations in order to help businesses grow and be more successful and to encourage further investment in the province’s economy.

“The Government of Saskatchewan recognizes that reducing red tape and regulatory burdens for our province’s businesses is imperative for their growth and competitiveness in the economy,” Trade and Export Development Minister Jeremy Harrison said.  “The province’s Growth Plan has outlined numerous action items that illustrate our government’s commitment to supporting the citizens and businesses of Saskatchewan by reducing red tape.”

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) has given the Government of Saskatchewan the highest ‘A’ grade ranking for the second year in a row, in their 2020 national Red Tape Report Card, for efforts in reducing red tape and modernizing regulations.

“We are pleased the Government of Saskatchewan has maintained its ‘A’ grade in 2020,” CFIB Vice-President Western Canada and Agri-business Marilyn Braun-Pollon said.  “The grade is the result of the provincial government exceeding its clear targets for red tape reduction.  As of 2018-19, Saskatchewan has publicly reported more than $450 million in cumulative, forecasted red tape savings over the next 10 years.  The government’s ‘Help Cut Red Tape’ webpage also continues to be useful at identifying and addressing red tape headaches for entrepreneurs.  Clearly, red tape reduction remains a top priority for the Government of Saskatchewan.”

During Red Tape Awareness Week, the CFIB hosts a number of activities and events including their annual Golden Scissors Awards to be announced January 23, 2020.  These awards acknowledge leadership from politicians, public servants, or other Canadians, for their work in cutting red tape and regulatory burdens for business.

Harrison is nominated for this year’s awards for creating Saskatchewan’s ‘Help Cut Red Tape’ web page, launched in January 2019.  The ‘Help Cut Red Tape’ web page is available to Saskatchewan citizens and businesses to provide feedback on how the province may offer services more effectively and efficiently.

Since inception, until the end of 2019, the web page had 2,684 visitors from outside of government and 44 red tape irritants submitted.  Nearly all submissions have either been resolved or forwarded to the appropriate Municipal or Federal government for consideration.  For example, one submission identified the need to streamline the appeal process under the Residential Tenancies Act that affected more than 8,000 appeals per year.

This red tape issue is now in the process of being resolved.  Action items in the Growth Plan to reduce red tape and regulatory burdens are aimed at encouraging businesses to expand and invest in the province.

In addition, the 2018-19 Regulatory Modernization Annual Report from government identified an achieved forecasted savings of $229.7 million over the next 10 years across government and Crown corporations.  Overall, this will contribute to the province’s main goal of increasing jobs by 100,000 and reaching 1.4 million people in population by 2030.

Specific red-tape reduction action items outlined in the Growth Plan include:

  • Appointing a business advisory panel from communities across the province to identify priorities for the Government of Saskatchewan’s Red Tape Reduction Committee;
  • Address issues identified by individuals and businesses through the ‘Help Cut Red Tape’ web page;
  • Keeping the province’s finances strong and investing in priorities such as infrastructure and health care, which are areas of concern for small businesses; and
  • Utilizing the Government of Saskatchewan’s Direct Cost Estimator to make informed decisions.

For more information on how to Help Cut Red Tape, visit the web page at http://saskatchewan.ca/help-cut-red-tape.

More information on the 2020 Red Tape Awareness Week is available at https://www.cfib-fcei.ca/en/red-tape-awareness-week.