Regulations And Red Tape Cost Canadian Businesses $36 Billion A Year: Report

New research by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business finds that the cost of regulation to Canadian businesses amounts to $36 billion a year, with “red tape” accounting for $10 billion of those annual costs.

The new data was released as part of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business’ annual “Red Tape Awareness Week” — seven days dedicated to highlighting the cost of excessive regulation in Canada and encouraging governments to lessen the burden on business owners and entrepreneurs.

A recent report by the Federal Finance Minister’s Advisory Council on Economic Growth also found that Canada subjects private sector businesses to excessive amounts of regulation and red tape. The government advisory council recently released data that shows it takes 249 days to permit a new general construction project in Canada, which is 168 days longer than in the neighbouring United States. In fact, the only country that has more regulations imposed on businesses, according to the advisory council study that examined 35 nations around the world, is the Slovak Republic.

Late last year (2017), the Business Council of Canada conducted a poll of business leaders on their priority issues and found that 61% disagreed with the following statement: “The regulatory environment is efficient and does not impose substantial additional costs on my company.” Only 13% of leaders surveyed agreed with the statement. Of the 10 priority areas examined, regulation performed worst on the survey.

Governments across Canada seem to be getting the message. The Finance Minister’s Advisory Council on Economic Growth has called for an independent, expert panel “to oversee a wide-ranging review of existing regulations” – a move that business leaders have applauded. And several provincial governments across Canada are taking steps on their own to lessen the amount of regulations imposed on businesses operating in their territories. British Columbia has reduced regulatory requirements by 48% since 2001, unleashing more entrepreneurship while maintaining high levels of safety and environmental protection.