News Releases
Government Home Search Sitemap Contact Us  

May 7, 2009

Twenty-Seven Per Cent Less Red Tape as Government Streamlines Processes
and Improves Service

Dealing with Provincial Government processes and regulations has been made easier over the past three years � a direct result of the progress made under the Red Tape Reduction Initiative. The Honourable Paul Oram, Minister of Business, today announced that the initiative successfully achieved its three-year target for reducing regulatory requirements and that the commitment to keeping the regulatory burden in check continues.

"This government set out three years ago with an ambitious goal to reduce regulatory requirements by one quarter by the end of March 2009," said Minister Oram. "Not only was our goal accomplished, but that mark has now been surpassed, with an overall reduction of more than 27 per cent. That is a substantial number of needless requirements eliminated."

There has been an ongoing commitment on the part of the Provincial Government to create a more efficient, flexible and transparent regulatory regime in Newfoundland and Labrador, while maintaining high regulatory standards, particularly where public safety and environmental protection are concerned. Since the launch of the initiative in 2006, 33 Provincial Government departments, agencies, boards and commissions have taken action to contribute directly to the reduction by identifying and addressing administrative and regulatory inefficiencies, including excessive regulations, requirements, reporting, processes and paper.

"Through a sustained commitment and effort to reduce regulatory burden and improve service, we are seeing some positive changes that are benefiting real people," said Minister Oram. "We are streamlining processes, reducing paperwork, getting rid of outdated and overly onerous requirements and making things easier for users of Provincial Government information and services. All this is making a difference by alleviating some of the hindrances that people and businesses face when dealing with government. It is also helping create a more business-friendly environment."

In addition to reducing regulations, the measures being taken are fostering innovation and efficiency in the way the Provincial Government operates, delivers services, and interacts with the public. Efforts across government are resulting in streamlined processes, improved regulation and legislation, increased access to e-government and implementation of online services, less paperwork, and more efficient service to clients and the public. The initiative has also sparked a heightened awareness and appreciation within government of the impacts that the regulatory burden can have on citizens and businesses.

A wide range of people and groups are benefiting from the achievements to date. Many processes and requirements are being made clearer and easier, for businesses and for the average Newfoundlander and Labradorian � from registering a business, to accessing career planning services, to filling out salmon and moose licence returns, to reserving a campsite, to registering a car.

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) has been an active advocate for red tape reduction within government. "I am very pleased the Provincial Government has met its target, and I look forward to our continued partnership, to ensure this province is the best place in which to do business," said Bradley George, Director of Provincial Affairs for CFIB.

Minister Oram applauded the efforts of Provincial Government employees and attributed the success of the initiative to their hard work and dedication to improve regulations and service.

The minister also announced that the commitment to relieving the regulatory burden continues, with the primary objective moving forward to ensure zero net growth in regulatory requirements and an ongoing focus on improvements to how people and business interact with government. The zero growth approach means, in essence, that for every new regulatory requirement introduced within government, an existing one must be eliminated.

"Our government�s commitment to better regulation and better service does not end here," said Minister Oram. "Improving the regulatory environment is a long-term commitment. This is about more than counting regulations. It is about continuously improving the way government does business."

- 30 -

Media contacts:

Mark King
Director of Communications
Department of Business
709-729-7628, 699-3454
Judy Hindy
Canadian Federation of Independent Business709-753-7745


The following are examples of measures taken across government to improve processes and service. For more, see

Small business

  • BizPal reduces paperwork and red tape for small business owners by providing easy online access to all permitting, inspection and licensing requirements for business set-up and expansion. To date, it has been introduced to Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Stephenville and St. John�s.
  • Various business funding program forms and the system for processing these were reviewed to simplify, eliminate duplication and make processing more effective and consistent for clients and staff.
  • Municipalities

  • Changes to capital works funding processes have resulted in greater efficiency and cost savings for municipalities.
  • Operating grants are now issued twice annually, instead of four times, meaning that municipalities receive them earlier.
  • Car owners

  • A 10 per cent discount encourages online registration.
  • Tele-service at the Motor Registration Division has improved accessibility and customer service.
  • Campers

  • Advanced reservations for provincial campsites can now be made online and through a 1-800 toll-free phone service, which increases convenience for customers and reduces administrative functions.
  • Apprentices and their employers

  • Revisions to apprenticeship registration assist greatly in obtaining journeyperson certification.
  • Journeyperson-to-apprentice ratio requirements were changed giving employers more flexibility and allowing apprentices to gain valuable worksite training.
  • Hunters and fishers

  • Excessive requirements on big game and salmon returns were eliminated, reducing effort for licence holders.
  • Mineral exploration

  • The Mineral Rights Administration Database is a state-of-the-art system for mineral claim-staking that allows real-time acquisition of licences from anywhere in the world, saving the private sector time and money and making the province more competitive for exploration companies.
  • Guidelines and forms were reviewed and improved, including: Mining Act Guidelines; Junior Exploration Assistance Guidelines and Applications; Prospectors Assistance Guidelines, Application for Prospectors Grant, and Report Form; Map Request Form; Peat Harvesting Application.
  • Workplace health and safety

  • Web-based services and information have been expanded to improve efficiency and effectiveness of client services (e.g. Certificates of Clearance, employer account information, PRIME status and health care cost reports).
  • A client service office investigates and facilitates resolution of client service concerns, identifies system-wide issues, and recommends service improvements.
  • Seekers of employment information

  • Up-to-date information on career and employment planning can be accessed with ease through a "Click, Call or Come In" network.
  • A redesigned wage subsidy program with a single application makes it easier for employers to secure financial support and for individuals looking for work experience to receive the services they need.
  • Income support clients

  • Services have been made more accessible, effective and efficient, including the availability of toll-free telephone, text telephone, and forms in Braille.
  • Timber purchasers

  • The Timber Purchase Licence was modified from an individual district application to a single provincial application.
  • Fishing industry

  • Some species production reports are now provided weekly instead of daily, reducing the frequency with which operators are required to submit data.
  • Newcomers

  • Applicant fees under the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) were lowered, increasing accessibility; and an early screening process for applications has reduced processing time and eliminated backlogs.
  • A new immigration portal brings together accurate, current online information, tools and services for immigrants, foreign workers and international students.
  • Occupational health and safety

  • Amendments to the Occupational Health and Safety Regulations provide flexibility and allow employers to choose first-aid providers.
  • Labour relations

  • Government initiated a review of collective bargaining legislation, together with business and labour, with a view to enhancing the labour relations framework.
  • Self-regulating professions

  • A number of outdated acts for self-regulating occupations were replaced with new legislation improving management of the profession and providing greater consumer protection (including architects, engineers and geoscientists, accountants, and embalmers and funeral directors).
  • Suppliers

  • A new, complete procurement system will enable users to collect and analyze critical data and information, assist in maximizing use of local vendors, improve turnaround times, as well as reduce paperwork for suppliers by allowing them to register their businesses and commodities online.
  • A Master Specification Guide for work on public-funded buildings was adopted by industry users.
  • Justice and corrections

  • The Newfoundland and Labrador Youth Centre implemented videoconferencing, which is reducing travel time and risk for clients who otherwise have to be transported during inclement weather to appear in court.
  • Fewer fees

  • More than 170 fees lowered or eliminated, resulting in approximately $30 million in reductions since 2007-08. 
  • Free textbooks for students

  • Providing free textbooks for students throughout the province has eliminated the vast majority of documentation previously required each year for ordering.
  • Special education programming

  • Delivery of special education programming was reviewed as part of the ISSP/Pathways Commission and required documentation was significantly reduced.
  • Public housing users

  • The application streams for rental of public housing were condensed into one application for the entire province, and the length of the application was halved, increasing ease of completion for clients and more efficient administration for NLHC.
  • 2009 06 07                                                     11:50 a.m.

    SearchHomeBack to GovernmentContact Us

    All material copyright the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador. No unauthorized copying or redeployment permitted. The Government assumes no responsibility for the accuracy of any material deployed on an unauthorized server.
    Disclaimer/Copyright/Privacy Statement