News release

Government Exceeds Target, Will Continue Reducing Regulatory Burden

Businesses will save about $34 million each year because of government’s efforts to cut red tape and modernize its regulatory system over the past 18 months.

The savings exceed government’s $25 million burden reduction target set in 2017 and advance government’s commitment to create a competitive business climate across the province.

“It’s important for Nova Scotia to have a thriving business community and an efficient regulatory system contributes to that,” said Premier Stephen McNeil. “We are committed to continuing this work that saves businesses time and money and allows entrepreneurs to focus on their business, be more competitive and help grow our economy.”

“Making it easier to start, grow and operate a business is critical in building a competitive business climate that benefits our communities both big and small,” said Matt Thomson, one of the founding partners of social enterprise Placemaking 4G, along with Bradley Daye and Lauren Sears. “As young business owners, seeing real tangible results like this is huge and something to celebrate. There is still a ton of work to be done, but the progress shown is significant.”

Today, Jan. 24, the Office of Regulatory Affairs and Service Effectiveness reported the estimated costs and savings to business stemming from initiatives across government since the target was set.

Some examples of savings include:

  • allowing landlords to provide tenants with a copy of the Residential Tenancies Act electronically instead of paper ($826,000 savings)
  • improving road networks and updating weight restrictions to reflect new trucking technology ($9.3 million savings)
  • adapting the internal system for notifying businesses of licences, permits and approvals for activities under the Environment Act ($1 million savings)
  • removing tuition and fees for technical training for apprentices often paid for by employers ($386,000 savings)
  • introducing secure online messaging for businesses to interact with the Workers Compensation Board ($1.6 million savings)
  • introducing the business navigator service ($3.4 million savings)
  • reducing business incorporation fees to the lowest in the country ($402,900 savings)
“Our farm businesses and our industry has seen first-hand the benefits of government’s focus on red tape reduction,” said Victor Oulton, president of the Nova Scotia Federation of Agriculture. “Just like in farming, government needs to continually look at what it does and how it does it. It needs to continuously improve. The focus on burden reduction has resulted in improvements. This work, focus and progress needs to continue.”

In addition to initiatives within government departments, Nova Scotia is working with other jurisdictions to remove interprovincial barriers to trade. In December, Premier McNeil announced action in five areas, including alcohol, business registration, occupational health and safety, transportation and technical safety.

The province also has partnerships with the Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM) and with the other Atlantic provinces to better align regulatory systems to make business operation and expansion easier.

Nova Scotia is being recognized nationally for its work. The Canadian Federation of Independent Business gave Nova Scotia an A grade for its work throughout 2018, up from A- last year and up from a D grade in 2015. The province was also recognized for its unique partnership with HRM as well as for reducing business incorporation fees to the lowest in the country.

The report that outlines how government is achieving these results is available at https://novascotia.ca/regulatoryopportunity/report.asp .

FOR BROADCAST USE:

Businesses will save about 34-million dollars each year because of government’s efforts to cut red tape and modernize its regulatory system over the past 18 months.

That’s nine-million-dollars more than the 25-million-dollar target.

Premier Stephen McNeil says an efficient regulatory system contributes to a thriving business community and allows businesses to be more competitive and help grow our economy.

This week, Nova Scotia is being recognized nationally by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business for its work in reducing regulatory burden on business, such as reducing business incorporation fees to the lowest in the country.

While government has exceeded its red tape reduction target, the premier says he is continuing this work.

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Media Contact:

Sacha Rutledge
Regulatory Affairs and Service Effectiveness 902-424-1513 Email: