Released on January 23, 2017The Government of Saskatchewan today proclaimed January 23 to 27, 2017 as Red Tape Awareness Week in the province. This week provides the opportunity to highlight the importance of regulatory modernization and the provincial government’s ongoing effort to reduce red tape for Saskatchewan businesses and consumers.
Saskatchewan controls regulatory accountability through The Regulatory Modernization and Accountability Act. This legislation mandates annual public reporting of regulatory modernization activities to be tabled at the end of every fiscal year. The aim is to achieve better regulation with efficient compliance and maintain regulatory integrity, without any compromise to the environment, public safety or worker protection measures.
“As a government, we know that reducing red tape is vital to improving competitiveness, and in our Saskatchewan Plan for Growth, we have committed to a multi-year review of all business-related regulations for their impact and costs, and to remove barriers to growth,” Minister of the Economy Jeremy Harrison said. “We are prioritizing the review of specific regulations with known regulatory burdens to business and the public, and are pleased to report our successes every year.”
The government’s 2015-2016 Regulatory Modernization Progress Report identified $15.5 million achieved in red tape cost savings, as part of its Red Tape Reduction Action Plan for the 2014-15 and 2015-16 fiscal years. This includes activities from across government ministries, agencies and crown corporations. Some red tape reduction activities include:
- The amendment of The Provincial Disaster Assistance Regulations to fast track payments under the program and eliminate unnecessary forms. The estimated savings in administrative costs over the next five years is $1.7 million;
- The introduction of a new oil and gas levy, removing the need for over 20,000 financial transactions; and
- The introduction of multi-party installation services with SaskEnergy, SaskPower and SaskTel working together to install natural gas, electrical, telecommunications and cable amenities in a single service.
CFIB will host a number of activities during this year’s Red Tape Awareness Week, including the issuing of its annual provincial report card, and its annual Golden Scissors Award which acknowledges the work of an elected official or others in government across Canada to reduce regulatory burdens for businesses. Two initiatives within the Government of Saskatchewan are finalists for this year’s Golden Scissors Award:
- Home based businesses: The Ministry of Health developed new regulations which permit home-based food processors to prepare low-risk foods in their own homes for direct sale more broadly to the public or for re-sale by retail stores. Low-risk foods include breads, biscuits, cookies, pastries, fruit pies, jams, jellies and candies;
- Microbrewery production: Regulatory amendments have introduced a number of changes, including allowing craft producers to open a second retail outlet besides their production site, determine their own prices regardless of where the product is sold and sell ciders and coolers in growlers.
More information on the 2017 Red Tape Awareness Week events and awards is available at www.cfib-fcei.ca/english/article/6890-red-tape-awareness-week-2017.html.
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