Alberta’s new Associate Minister of Red Tape Reduction, Tanya Fir, has sure been on a hot streak since her appointment in July. In the past six weeks alone, three notable reductions have made the news.
First, there’s the discontinuation of the Alberta Indian Tax Exemption card. This eliminates the need for eligible First Nations people to carry both a provincial and a federal certificate in order to receive qualifying tax exemptions, and is part of efforts to reduce redundant regulations.
Next, the province opened its Environmental Historical Enforcement Search. By changing how records are searched, the delivery of online services is made simpler and more cost-effective for Albertans, while wait times are shortened and the administrative burden on local businesses reduced.
Finally, a new website for non-profits was launched. Non-profit groups in Alberta are subject, at times, to regulations intended for businesses that prevent them from addressing immediate needs in the community. Providing accessible information on existing exemptions, and on how to go about applying for a new exemption, makes delivering programs and services easier.
We know that regulations have costs. While some are undoubtedly justified, excessive red tape stifles entrepreneurship and drags down the economy. Alberta’s Ministry of Red Tape Reduction deserves praise for these three moves, which are part of a sustained effort to cut superfluous regulations. Having reduced red tape by over 17% so far, the province is a model for others to follow.