The four Atlantic Provinces are joining together to proclaim Jan. 23 to 27 as Red Tape Awareness Week.
As part of their commitment to achieve economic gains by reducing trade barriers and harmonizing their regulatory environments the four provinces have adopted a common Charter of Governing Principles for Regulation and passed mirror legislation – the Regulatory Reporting and Accountability Act.
All four are part of the Joint Office of Regulatory Affairs and Service Effectiveness, established in 2015 as a focused effort to reduce red tape, streamline services and harmonize regulations.
“Atlantic premiers are working hard to find ways our provinces can co-operate to improve the economy across the region,” said Premier Stephen McNeil of Nova Scotia. “We know having clear, sensible regulations is a way to make the region a more attractive place to do business and will help create jobs.
“I’m very encouraged by the work of the joint office in its early days – there’s a plan, tangible action, and measurable results. Everybody wins when we work together.”
A recent study from the Atlantic Provinces Economic Council concluded the Atlantic region has the most to gain by eliminating trade barriers and estimates a 10 per cent reduction could increase regional gross domestic product annually by at least $1 billion. This means a more vibrant economy and strengthening employment.
Newfoundland and Labrador announced its full participation in the joint office last December.
“Working together to reduce red tape will help create a more attractive business environment across the Atlantic region, which in turn will help all four provinces achieve economic gains,” said Dwight Ball, Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador. “As we begin our participation in the joint office, we look forward to finding ways to make the experience of businesses operating across our borders more consistent and convenient, while also harmonizing our approach to regulating business activity and protecting consumers.”
All four provinces will adopt the One Business One Number system for Workers’ Compensation Boards and Commissions, will mutually recognize targeted occupational health and safety equipment and safety training standards, and are moving to standardize the carrier profile system in the trucking sector.
“We know how hard small businesses in New Brunswick work to serve their customers and provide jobs for their employees. With their help, we are tackling red tape to help small business be more efficient and competitive,” said Brian Gallant, Premier of New Brunswick. “While continuing to reduce red tape, it is our job as premiers to create conditions that will allow businesses to thrive and succeed.”
The Atlantic Provinces and the federal government are also working collectively on the Atlantic Growth Strategy to identify shared economic priorities and collaborate on the design and implementation of economy-building actions.
“In order for our four provinces to tap into our economic potential, as outlined in the recent Atlantic Provinces Economic Council report, there requires a cohesive and consistent effort toward regulatory alignment and red tape reduction across Atlantic Canada,” said Wade MacLauchlan, Premier of Prince Edward Island. “I am confident businesses across the region will benefit from our collective efforts.”
The joint office works with the region’s business community and other key stakeholders, who are essential partners for both regional regulatory initiatives and the Atlantic Growth Strategy.