To make dealing with government easier, faster and less frequent, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick will create a new joint Regulatory and Service Effectiveness Office.
The office’s mission will be to create a modern, consistent and fair regulatory environment driven by high-quality, client-focused service.
“We want to become one of the most competitive and prosperous business climates in Canada,” said Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil. “To do that we have to remove obstacles and increase regulatory predictability so businesses are confident in making investments in our region.”
The recent Nova Scotia Tax and Regulatory Review calculated the cost for small and medium-sized businesses in Nova Scotia to comply with regulations is about $119 million annually.
“Many New Brunswick companies do business in Nova Scotia and vice versa. By reducing and better aligning regulations in both provinces, we will help create the conditions for economic growth and job creation which is our government’s number one priority,” said New Brunswick Premier Brian Gallant. “New Brunswick and Nova Scotia may be among the smaller provinces in Canada, but by working together, we can achieve more for businesses and families in the Atlantic region.”
Co-leads of the new office will be appointed shortly by the premiers. Staff will be seconded from government departments to concentrate on reducing red tape, streamlining services and harmonizing regulations.
The Report of the Nova Scotia Commission on Building our New Economy called on governments to “align their policies and programs more effectively, and to be more efficient and focused in supporting business growth and innovation.”
The Tax and Regulatory Review highlighted the importance of partnerships between governments to reduce duplication and establish efficient processes. It also outlined a number of reform measures. The new joint office will directly address all the regulatory recommendations made in the review.
Premiers McNeil and Gallant today, March 24, signed a memorandum of understanding to establish and operate the office and reform regulations, including:
— fair, efficient, effective, predictable and transparent regulations that are rigorous and meet citizens’ expectations of protection
— reducing red tape, overlap and unnecessary regulations, and costs for business
— effective and efficient service that uses online technology
— more co-operation, harmonization and measurement
Premiers McNeil and Gallant agreed they share a vision of regional collaboration that supports economic growth, and a more competitive regulatory environment is a tangible first step. This initiative is aligned with the Atlantic Red Tape Reduction Initiative announced by the Council of Atlantic Premiers in January 2015.
The new office will have a three-year mandate to substantially reduce obstacles to business growth, and build a more positive business environment in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.