Surrey Board of Trade Calls for Red Tape Reduction at the Federal Government Level

The Surrey Board of Trade provided a submission to the Government of Canada in its consultation on how red tape and regulatory burdens impact businesses.

The summary of the Surrey Board of Trade’s submission include:

·      Wherever possible, it is important for the government to eliminate duplication, overlap, inconsistencies, and contradictory rules across agencies and levels of government. Seeking ways to minimize the number of steps, decrease processing times, or make things more user friendly with the goal of cutting the time and cost of compliance and administration for businesses are obvious considerations.

·      Political leadership is needed. If politicians are not fully on board, the reform will not happen or last.

·      The federal government must establish a publicly available baseline for measuring the number of regulatory requirements and their estimated costs, along with regularly reporting to the public on changes to the number and costs of provincial regulations.

·      Place constraints (i.e. regulatory caps) on regulators and giving them the appropriate incentives to manage and minimize the regulatory burden.

·      Adopt a regulatory budgeting model. A regulatory budget essentially requires that any new regulations need to be offset by reforming or eliminating existing regulations of an equivalent economic cost – using a standardized costing model to measure the economic costs of regulations across the government.

“The Surrey Board of Trade advocates for the reduction of red tape. Our members have provided information on how red tape negatively impacts their ability to innovate, compete, and grow by completing the annual Surrey Red Tape Survey,” said Anita Huberman, CEO, Surrey Board of Trade.

“We are pleased that the Government of Canada is seeking stakeholder input on regulatory burdens, but engagement should occur throughout the entire process of reviewing and implementing regulations.”

Red tape refers to rules, policies, and government services that do little or nothing to serve the public interest while creating financial cost or frustration to producers and consumers alike. Red tape may include poorly designed laws, regulations, and policies; outdated rules that may have been justified at one time but are no longer; and rules intentionally designed to burden some businesses while favoring others. Red tape stands in contrast to justified regulation, which includes government laws, regulations, rules, and policies that support an efficient and effective marketplace and provide citizens and businesses with the protections they need.

“The Surrey Board of Trade advocates on behalf of businesses to ensure the government of the day is business friendly. We need to reduce red tape that overburdens businesses – most of them small or medium in size. This helps our economy grow and compete on the international stage.”

The Government of Canada is pursuing a number of initiatives to modernize the Canadian regulatory system and improve its performance for both Canadians and businesses. To inform the direction of these initiatives, the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat (TBS) invited input from all interested stakeholders on the following four initiatives related to its regulatory modernization agenda:

1.       Targeted Regulatory Reviews (Round 2) – focusing on clean technology, digitalization and technology neutrality, and international standards

2.       Review of the Red Tape Reduction Act

3.       Legislating changes to regulator mandates

4.       Suggestions for the next annual Regulatory Modernization Bill


a)     To read the 2018 Red Tape Survey Report click here. The 2019 Red Tape Survey will be released at the October 30 Surrey Development Forum.

b)    To read Surrey Board of Trade’s Submission to the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat click here

For more information contact

Anita Huberman, CEO of the Surrey Board of Trade