OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Jan. 18, 2012) - The Honourable Tony Clement, President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for FedNor, today received the Red Tape Reduction Commission's Recommendations Report. Created through Canada's Economic Action Plan, the Commission, chaired by the Honourable Maxime Bernier, Minister of State (Small Business and Tourism) examined ways to spur job creation and economic growth through the elimination of unnecessary red tape.

"The Commission believes cutting red tape is critical. And this Government agrees. Through these cutting red tape initiatives, the Government hopes to allow businesses to focus on what they do best: sustaining our economic recovery by creating jobs and generating wealth in communities across Canada," added Minister Clement.

Minister Clement announced that the Government is moving forward with the Commission's recommendation to implement a "One-for-One" Rule to control administrative burden on business. This means that regulators will be required to remove at least one regulation each time they introduce a new one that imposes administrative burden on business. In addition, regulatory changes that increase administrative burden on business need to be offset with equal administrative burden reductions. In the coming months, an action plan responding to the other recommendations will be developed.

The Recommendations Report is the result of several months of public consultation and careful assessment on the part of Commission members. It provides specific advice to departments and agencies on how to reduce unnecessary burdens on business. It also proposes that the Government make systemic changes to the way it regulates businesses while ensuring that the environment and the health and safety of Canadians are not compromised.

More detail on the Commission's recommendations and the "One-For-One" Rule is available in the attached backgrounders.


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The Prime Minister launched the Red Tape Reduction Commission in January 2011, as part of the Economic Action Plan. The Prime Minister asked the Commission to identify irritants to business that have clear detrimental effects on growth, competitiveness and innovation. The Commission was also asked to recommend ways to address those irritants and reduce the compliance burden on a lasting basis without compromising the environment or the health and safety of Canadians.

To meet this challenge, the Commission carried out an extensive set of online and in-person consultations with businesses and business groups across Canada. The Commission's What Was Heard Report, issued in September 2011, captures the feedback received through these consultations. The consultations identified approximately 2,300 specific irritants about how regulations cause unnecessary cost and frustration.

The Commission identified the root causes of red tape, and focused its analysis on the most important underlying issues, producing 90 specific recommendations involving 18 Government of Canada departments and agencies. These recommendations aim to deal with the root causes that account for the bulk of the pressing issues listed in the What Was Heard Report.

The Commission also identified 15 specific systemic reforms involving all federal regulatory departments.

Through consultation and careful assessment, the Commission organized its recommendations into the following five main categories:

  1. The federal government must cut the administrative burden that businesses have to deal with by:
  • cutting the burden of regulatory requirements on businesses;
  • cutting the information demands on businesses; and
  • enhancing the use of electronic services to reduce compliance costs.
  1. The federal government must cut the hidden burden created when individual businesses have to contend with the demands of many different federal regulators by:
  • getting the federal regulatory house in order;
  • increasing the use of electronic "single windows" for information on regulatory requirements; this could set the stage for a "Tell Us Once" policy to ensure that individual departments do not ask the same business for the same information multiple times.
  1. The federal government must foster a true service culture among staff who have regulatory roles by:
  • setting and being accountable for meeting service standards;
  • building a culture of service excellence and professionalism;
  • "connecting the dots" for small businesses that must deal with many regulators; and
  • using plain language and providing clear, definitive interpretations.
The last two categories of recommendations deal with systemic reforms to bring about lasting change to the management of regulatory programs, to the assessment of the stock of existing regulatory requirements, to the design of regulations in the future, and to the governance and oversight of the regulatory regime.
  1. The federal government must improve how it designs its regulatory responses to policy issues and governs the overall regulatory regime by:
  • increasing predictability and transparency by publishing regulatory plans;
  • improving the assessment of risk, the analysis of costs and benefits, and the measurement and evaluation of the performance of regulatory programs; and
  • gaining a better understanding of the impact of regulations on small businesses.
  1. To ensure accountability, the Commission recommends that the Government mandate an independent body to review and report on progress made to reduce red tape and on the overall volume of regulatory programs. The Government can therefore evaluate how the situation is evolving. In addition, the Government must devise means of encouraging senior federal public servants to effectively manage the Government's efforts to reduce red tape on both the stock of existing regulations and flow of new and amended regulations.



The Government has committed to reduce the regulatory burden to Canadian businesses and ensure they make investments in productivity and creating jobs rather then in meeting unnecessary regulatory requirements.

To achieve effective and lasting changes to the regulatory system, the Government introduced the Red Tape Reduction Commission in Budget 2010.

The Government is also implementing a "One-for-One" Rule to control administrative burdens on business.

Why is the "One-for-One" Rule important?

The "One-for-One" Rule will reduce administrative burden (i.e. the time and resources spent by business to show compliance with government regulations) in two ways:

  1. It requires regulators to remove a regulation each time they introduce a new regulation that imposes administrative burdens.
  2. When a new or amended regulation increases administrative burden on business, regulators will be required to offset-from their existing regulations-an equal amount of administrative burden costs on business.

How does it change current practices?

Businesses told the Red Tape Reduction Commission that a "One-for-One" Rule is necessary to control how often the Government turns to regulation to address issues within industry. They also indicated that the burden of existing regulation grows unchecked.

The "One-for-One" Rule will now require ministers to remove at least one regulation each time they introduce a new one that imposes administrative burden on business. In addition, regulatory changes that increase administrative burden need to be offset with equal administrative burden reductions.

How will success be measured?

Departments will use the Standard Cost Model to measure administrative burden. The Model is internationally accepted and the most widely used approach to determining the administrative burden costs of regulatory changes. The Model breaks down the regulation into the time and money business will spend on activities to show they comply with the regulation.

Contact Information:

Sean Osmar
Press Secretary
Office of the President of the Treasury
Board and Minister responsible for FedNor

Media Relations
Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat