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Service NL
June 18, 2012

The following statement was given today in the House of Assembly by the Honourable Paul Davis, Minister of Service NL:

Government Continues Regulatory Reform Efforts

Mr. Speaker, in 2006 the Provincial Government embarked upon an initiative to review the regulatory environment in this province, in an effort to reduce red tape and simplify and improve the ways in which businesses and the general public interact with government.

The original goal of the provincial Red Tape Reduction initiative was a 25 per cent reduction in red tape. This goal was surpassed within a three-year time frame, and the Provincial Government continues to achieve its objective of no net growth in the number of regulatory requirements. In fact, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business on their recent annual report placed Newfoundland and Labrador second only to British Columbia in the area of red tape reduction. They noted in particular our success with the three-year initiative, and our public reporting of regulatory reform measurements since 2006 as areas of strength.

Mr. Speaker, there are a number of regulatory improvements which have been implemented recently which have contributed to the reduction of red tape for the people of the province.

The new Fire Protection Services Act, which was passed into law this session, modernizes and consolidates older legislation thereby reducing red tape and providing for improved fire safety for residents of Newfoundland and Labrador. Also, the new Mines Safety Regulations, which have been consolidated as part of the Occupational Health and Safety Regulations, significantly modernized the regulations and brought them in line with current mining practices.

Mr. Speaker, in April of 2011, the Municipalities Act and the Urban and Rural Planning Act were amended. The Department of Municipal Affairs made changes which allow six of the larger municipalities in the province the ability to enforce property-related by-laws through ticketing. This significantly reduces the regulatory requirements on municipalities when engaged in enforcing their municipal bylaws.

Our government continues to strive for regulatory reform in all areas. That is why the Regulatory Reform Office of Service NL is leading an effort to put in place an Accountability Framework which no other Canadian jurisdiction currently has in place. The framework puts additional structure around our initiative and imposes additional requirements in terms of reporting on activities, both internally and externally.

Mr. Speaker, while we look back at our successes in regulatory reform, we must continue to look ahead, and ensure that we are working to make processes and procedures simpler for the people of the province. Regulatory reform, as international experience shows, is a cultural shift in how governments develop new regulations and policies. It is not something that can be successfully implemented solely in the short term rather, it takes a long term commitment. This is a commitment which our government has clearly made.


2012 06 18             1:55 p.m.

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