Mario ToneguzziFor the second year in a row, Alberta has registered an F in the annual Red Tape Report Card issued by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business during Red Tape Awareness Week.

In releasing the report card on Tuesday, the CFIB said Alberta holds the provincial record for worst grades over time, getting Ds and Fs since the report card was created.

Nationally, the CFIB awarded more A grades than ever before – to Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Nova Scotia. British Columbia and Ontario received A- grades.

“Unfortunately, it’s a different scenario in Alberta,” said Richard Truscott, CFIB’s vice-president for Alberta and B.C. “Our provincial government continues to ignore red tape as a problem. Political leadership is still the key missing ingredient to get things rolling. As a result, Alberta is the only province to receive a failing grade on our red tape report card.”

The CFIB said its report card grades governments along three criteria: strong leadership, comprehensive measurement of the regulatory burden, and whether the government has put a cap on regulations in place. It doesn’t compare provinces on how much regulation is in place, but on their regulatory accountability and transparency, which are essential for successful red tape reduction.

“Ten years ago most governments didn’t even know how many rules they were imposing on their constituents – a shocking lack of accountability when you consider that regulations cost citizens a lot of time and money,” said Laura Jones, CFIB’s executive vice-president.

“When the report card was launched, the highest grade was a B+, earned by British Columbia. Today, there is a record breaking number of A grades. We haven’t changed the standard, which means most governments are rising to the challenge of measuring, reporting and generally being a lot more accountable with respect to this important way they affect our lives.”

According to the CFIB, here are some important highlights over the years from the report card:

  • B.C. has consistently received A grades over the past eight years (the highest number across the country) and has become a model for regulatory accountability and reform for other jurisdictions in Canada and internationally;
  • Manitoba holds the record for the greatest improvement in one year, going from a D+ in 2017 to an A in 2018 for its comprehensive measurement and its ground-breaking law to eliminate two rules for every new one until 2021 and then one-for-one after that;
  • Nova Scotia and Saskatchewan improved their grades to As by setting clear targets for reduction, measuring the burden and showing political leadership.

– Mario Toneguzzi for Calgary’s Business

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