Today, Ontario received an A-, the province's highest grade ever, in an annual report card that evaluates governments across Canada based on their progress in cutting red tape for business.
The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) gave Ontario this grade in its 2019 Red Tape Report Card. This is a dramatic increase from the C+ that the previous government received in 2018 — which was Ontario's second-lowest grade ever. The jump from the province's second-lowest to its highest grade ever is a result of the new government's determination to cut the cost of doing business in Ontario and make companies more competitive.
In this year's report card, CFIB praised Ontario's new government for its commitment to broad, structural red tape reduction as a pillar of its Open for Business vision. The Government for the People received recognition for strong political leadership from the Premier on cutting red tape, which is one of the government's top priorities. Its work has included the passage of the Making Ontario Open for Business Act, which removed the previous government's onerous provisions in Bill 148.The Act also transformed Ontario's apprenticeship system to make it easier for employers to hire the skilled tradespeople they need.
The government has built on this achievement by introducing the Restoring Ontario's Competitiveness Act. This bill includes over 30 actions to reduce the burden on job creators by cutting business costs, harmonizing regulatory requirements with other jurisdictions, ending duplication and reducing barriers to investment.
"I am proud that CFIB has recognized we mean business when it comes to cutting red tape," said Todd Smith, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, who is the lead minister on reducing red tape and regulatory burden. "Ontario businesses face the highest cost to comply with regulations in any province — about $33,000 per company — and small businesses are being hit the hardest. Lowering the cost of doing business here will make companies more competitive so they can create and keep good jobs right here in Ontario. And we won't stop until we get the job done."
Ontario will take this work to the next level this spring. Ministries are pitching in with ideas for new actions to help meet an ambitious target to reduce regulatory red tape affecting businesses by 25%. This will be supported by an ongoing review of the province's laws and regulations to lower business costs, and create and protect good jobs.
"Improving from a C+ to an A- in only six months is a particularly impressive accomplishment," said Julie Kwiecinski, Director of Provincial Affairs for Ontario at CFIB. "Overall, the grade reflects this government's comprehensive, cross-government approach to removing excessive, unnecessary and redundant red tape barriers to business success."
- CFIB is a non-profit organization representing and advocating for the interests and concerns of more than 110,000 Canadian owners of small- and mid-sized businesses, including over 42,000 business owners in Ontario.
- It has published an annual Red Tape Report Card since 2011. CFIB says its goal is to hold the federal, provincial, municipal and territorial governments accountable for one of the biggest headaches for small businesses — excessive regulations.