Canada’s regulatory system is a mix of complex, overlapping rules from all levels of government that has created a costly and uncertain environment to run a business. Increasing compliance costs and inefficient and unpredictable regulatory processes negatively impact business productivity, innovation and ultimately Canada’s economic growth. The Canadian Chamber of Commerce’s new report, Death by 130,000 Cuts: Improving Canada’s Regulatory Competitiveness outlines how the federal regulatory environment is failing Canada’s economy and how elected officials, regulators and businesses can work together to fix it.
As all levels of government continue to layer on new regulations, businesses must contend with more compliance and reporting requirements instead of focusing on growing their business.
Uneven application of regulatory best practices can result in inadequate consultations, flawed cost-benefit analyses of proposed regulations and an underestimation of business impacts.
Little progress has been eliminating the regulatory differences between provinces. Canada has also introduced new non-tariff regulatory barriers to trade with other countries.
Many regulatory frameworks are overly prescriptive, outdated and not equipped to deal with or incentivize innovative business activity.
Immediately convene a government-business regulatory competitiveness working group. The working group would develop recommendations for the federal government to measure and reduce cumulative regulatory burden. It would also develop recommendations for governments to ensure a consistent application of regulatory guidelines and best practices by regulators.
Give regulators economic growth and competitiveness mandates to ensure that economic impacts are given appropriate consideration while preserving necessary protections.
Increase federal leadership in eliminating interprovincial regulatory barriers to trade through clear goals, timelines and accountability as part of the Canadian Free Trade Agreement.
Validate the quality and consistency of regulatory cost-benefit analyses from departments and agencies before regulatory proposals are submitted for Cabinet approval.
Fix regulatory consultations through earlier engagement with stakeholders while ensuring processes are transparent and evidence-based. Project-based public consultations should be time-limited and focused on projects, not outside policy issues.
Make prescriptive legacy regulatory frameworks more flexible and adaptable by moving to risk- or outcome-based regulations where appropriate.
Increase regulatory alignment with Canada’s trading partners by integrating regulatory cooperation into free trade agreements and design new regulations with alignment by default where it is in Canada’s economic interest to do so.
"The Canadian Chamber of Commerce examines federal requirements that impose an administrative burden on business in new report."
"Canada’s regulatory system is a mix of complex, overlapping rules that is costing Canada’s economy, according to a new Chamber report"
"Canada’s regulatory system is smothering business in Canada, thanks to a growing mix of complex, costly and overlapping rules from all levels of government."
Director, Transportation & Infrastructure Policy | Directeur, Politiques du transport et de l'infrastructure
The Canadian Chamber of Commerce | La Chambre de commerce du Canada
RGreer@chamber.ca | T: 613.238.4000 (250) | F: 613.238.7643
1700 - 275 Slater Street
Ottawa, ON, K1P 5H9