Canada’s third annual Red Tape Awareness Week™ kicks off with the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) releasing the Red Tape Digital Diaries, a digital video series chronicling the frustrations of Canadian small business owners because of excessive government regulation and red tape.
CFIB criss-crossed the country to hear from small business owners such as Claude Lavoie, an entrepreneur near Ottawa, Ontario, who was driven to distraction because of a wrinkle with CRA that he says took too long to smooth out.
“Small business owners are your neighbours, friends and relatives. They’re paying a monetary and emotional price to jump through hoops that don’t need to exist,” says Laura Jones, CFIB senior vice-president of research, economics and Western Canada. “The Red Tape Digital Diaries show Canadians how overbearing and unnecessary regulations damage the lives and businesses of real people in their community.”
CFIB research estimates that regulation costs Canadian businesses $30 billion each year in compliance costs alone. The smallest firms are hardest hit: companies with fewer than four employees spend $5,825 a year on average to comply with regulations.
Red tape creates costs for consumers and workers too. When business owners are forced to deal with red tape, it’s time and money they’re not spending building their businesses, creating jobs, and expanding the economy.
According to Canadian businesses, the burden could be reduced by at least 25 per cent without harming the legitimate objectives of regulation such as protecting health and safety. “This is the equivalent of a $7.5 billion annual stimulus package. Governments must take this issue seriously. We hope these stories will help,” concluded Jones.