Aug 08, 2019

Fixing the foundation: Canadian Chamber of Commerce releases its first annual regulatory reform report card, gives the federal government a B

(OTTAWA) – August 8, 2019 – It seems like every business in Canada has a story about regulations that suffocate their ability to grow.

Problems with regulatory burden are nothing new in Canada, in part because the discussion about solutions usually focuses on specific rules. This amounts to trying to manage the symptoms – the red tape – of Canada’s regulatory problems, rather than dealing with the underlying causes.

The Canadian Chamber’s 2018 report Death by 130,000 Cuts: Improving Canada’s Regulatory Competitiveness laid out the first steps towards regulating smarter by fixing the foundations of Canada’s complex and uncertain regulatory systems.

Today, the Canadian Chamber is releasing its first annual report card on the government’s response to each of the seven core recommendations, and grading the overall response as a B.

“Our members want government to fix the root causes of Canada’s regulatory problems, the processes that result in a disconnected, overlapping, sometimes contradicting and costly regulatory environment. That’s why the Canadian Chamber put forward a plan for the federal government to do this last year, and why we’re going to hold the government accountable to this plan going forward,” said Ryan Greer, Senior Director, Regulatory Policy, Canadian Chamber of Commerce.

“We give full credit to the government for acknowledging Canada’s regulatory shortcomings and adopting many of the Chamber’s recommendations. Our overall grade of B, is a reflection of their mixed record on turning that acknowledgement into concrete action,” added Greer.

“For instance, we were very happy to see the government embrace our recommendation to give economic mandates to regulators in the 2018 Fall Economic Statement, but the government was unable to implement this measure before the federal election,” continued Greer.  

The report measures the response to each of the seven recommendations made by the Canadian Chamber in May 2018:

·        Establish a government-business regulatory working group

o   Government grade: A

·        Give regulators economic growth and competiveness mandates

o   Government grade: B

·        Increase federal leadership eliminating inter-provincial trade barriers

o   Government grade: B

·        Rebuild stakeholder confidence in the government’s cost-benefit analysis

o   Government grade: B-

·        Improve regulatory consultations

o   Government grade: F

·        Increase efforts to modernize individual regulatory frameworks

o   Government grade: A+

·        Increase international alignment, especially in new areas of regulations

o   Government grade: B

“Where the government has failed the most is in the sincerity of its consultations with business on new regulatory measures. The most notable example in 2019 was the passage of C-69, where the government invited and then ignored substantive industry input on designing a new environmental assessment regime,” said Greer. “Our members regularly question why they invest so much time and effort in consultations when it seems the government wants to use consultations to justify its preferred regulatory approach rather than improve it,” concluded Greer.

To learn more about the report card and Canada’s regulatory competitiveness, visit Regulate Smarter.

The Voice of Canadian Business

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce is Canada’s largest and most representative business association, which speaks with one unified voice on behalf of nearly a quarter million businesses. The Chamber’s job is to help Canadian businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions grow their business. We do this by helping them connect to each other, new opportunities, providing essential business services, and influencing government policy on their behalf. For more information visit or follow us @CdnChamberofCom.

For more information, please contact:

Phil Taylor
Senior Director, Strategic Communications and Public Affairs (preferred and fastest response time)
613.238.4000 (2231)