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October 23, 2012

CCA supports federal red tape action

The Canadian Construction Association (CCA) has given a thumbs-up to the federal government’s recently announced plan to cut red tape.

“We are pleased to see the federal government finally taking action on red tape reduction,” said Bill Ferreira, the association’s director of government relations and public affairs.

“Given that 99 per cent of the construction industry is made up of firms with fewer than 100 employees, red tape is often a significant concern adding to their cost of doing business.

“Clearly, any reduction in red tape at the federal level will help reduce the overall regulatory burden on our member firms, which in turn will have a positive net impact on their overall business competitiveness.”

Unveiled earlier this month, the red tape reduction action plan introduces six ‘systemic” changes, intended to reduce the administrative burden on business, make it easier to do business with regulators, and improve service and predictability.

These government-wide changes are supported by 90 department-specific reforms—deemed “common sense” solutions to business irritants in areas ranging from tax and payroll, to labour, licences and permits, transport and cross-border trade.

The vast majority of these reforms will be implemented over the next three years.

One of the reforms involves introduction of a one-for-one rule.

Regulators will be required to offset new administrative burden costs imposed on business with equal reductions in administrative burden from the stock of existing regulations.

In addition, regulators will be required to remove a regulation each time they introduce a new regulation that imposes a new administrative burden.

Ferreira said the CCA considers the one-for-one rule being proposed “an innovative way to reduce the regulatory burden on the business community.

“Instead of just layering regulations on business, we are hopeful that this proposed measure will introduce greater discipline to the regulatory development process.”

Ferreira said CCA is also pleased with the government’s announcement to implement recommendations made in an earlier report by the Red Tape Reduction Commission.

The action plan is the government’s response to that report, tabled in January.

“We are particularly interested in how they will streamline the security clearance process, which was singled out in the report for action and remains a significant irritant for large and small construction contractors alike.”

The red tape reduction action plan was unveiled Oct. 1 by Treasury Board President Tony Clement.

The government said the plan is one of the most ambitious red tape-cutting exercises in the world today.

Ferreira said the CCA looks forward to speedy implementation of the action plan’s recommendations.

The association hopes this initiative will spark similar action by other levels of government across the country.

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