By MAGGIE M, Editor, Publisher, Wedgee-in-Chief
It’s conceivably a first. That old idiom, ‘cutting red tape,’ is a sporting political talking point, but not under Premier Kenney.
In Alberta, it’s law.
Bill 4, the Red Tape Reduction Act, received Royal Assent on June 28th this year. The scissors are aimed at one-third of regulations across the board. Key ministries will receive this snipping.
Quite telling is Kenney’s promise that no unnecessary regulations will be able to creep back–by law.
“We’re going to take Alberta from being the most over-regulated to the freest economy in Canada. We aren’t just saying we’re reducing red tape – we are making it the law. We are committed to cutting red tape by one-third – and once we cut it, we will prevent new red tape from creeping back.”
Those are big words and music to my ears.The default process is to establish industry panels who in turn consult with the public to hear of their red tape challenges. All report to Grant Hunter, Associate Minister of Red Tape Reduction.
Yes, Alberta now features an Associate Ministry of Red Tape Reduction that operates under the Ministry of Treasury Board and Finance.
Red tape is not a euphemism for jobs, but for outdated, duplicated processes that produce outcomes that are long, painful and economically crippling.
All governments have red tape (I see you nodding.) Simply, Alberta now makes first steps to place all under review.
“Should I stay or should I go,” should be this new ministry’s anthem. But that would be more red tape.
A website CutRedTape.Alberta.ca went live on June 24th. It features a submission form for Albertans to provide feedback on their encounters with costly and unnecessary red tape, and suggestions on how to get rid of it.
This public input will help ensure our action on red tape reduction aligns with the needs of Albertans.
Last November 19th, a panel for small business was announced. Oil and gas and Tourism panels were launched in August.
Nate Gublish, Minister of Services Alberta, announced red tape cuts to Alberta’s condominium regulations on November 27th. It’s the fourth panel.
It seems the snipping is going at a fast clip.
Additional panels that will be announced in the future include:
- agriculture, agri-food, and bio-industrial
Bill 4 will make it easier for people to get the government services they need and reduce the regulatory burden on job creators to encourage investment, boost Alberta’s competitiveness and get more Albertans back to work.
Bill 4 will enable government to:
- create an inventory of current regulations and assess if they are effective
- focus on outcomes instead of processes to ensure all regulations are necessary, effective, efficient and proportional to their intended outcome
- develop red tape reduction plans in all departments to make sure current and new regulations are free of red tape
- coordinate cross-government activities and report on outcomes to make this initiative fully transparent to Albertans