P.E.I. tied up in red tape

Mike Carson
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Red Tape Review

Canadian Federation of Independent Business issues its Red Tap Report Card and gives P.E.I. a D+

Prince Edward Island is tied up in red tape and near the bottom of provinces dealing with the issue.

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) issued its Red Tap Report Card Tuesday. The results were not good for P.E.I.

“While some amount of regulation is certainly necessary to protect the public good and create a fair business environment, excessive regulation and paperwork is a productivity killer,” said Erin McGrath-Gaudet, CFIB’s director for P.E.I. “We’re pleased to see that government has identified this as a priority and are hopeful P.E.I.’s grade will improve next year.”

The report card is primarily assessing progress on regulatory accountability. The main criteria for success are measurement of, and publicly reporting on, the regulatory burden.

The report did have some optimism for P.E.I.’s situation if the province follows through on a commitment made in the throne speech.

“Progress to date has been largely focused on single initiatives, BizPal and HS,” researches said in the report. “However, in the speech from the throne, government announced a co-ordinated government-wide initiative aimed at improving customer service, reducing duplication and developing a regulator’s code of practice. This is a significant promise and once implemented should improve P.E.I.’s grade.”

Councillor Cory Thomas, chairman of Summerside’s technical services committee, said reducing red tape for business development, locally, has been a priority in drafting of the Summerside Official Plan.

“One of the things, as councillors, that we’ve heard in the past is that in Prince Edward Island and in the city, it may not be the easiest place to do business or get development,” he said. “We’ve taken a start as a city, as a corporation.”

Thomas said last year the city hired MRSB Consulting Services to conduct a business summit with developers and business people within the community and across the province on their experiences working in Summerside and to provide feedback.

“One of the things, as councillors, that we’ve heard in the past is that in Prince Edward Island and in the city, it may not be the easiest place to do business or get development,” Councillor Cory Thomas, chairman of Summerside’s technical services committee

“That’s an important first step,” he said. “You need to discuss what’s working, what isn’t working with the stakeholders."

Thomas said from a technical services committee standpoint, it wants to ensure that while sticking to the provincial regulations, people and developers can conduct business.

“We’re consulting with the community to help write our Official Plan which will chart the future of where we’re going to go in terms of development within the city.”

Thomas said he doesn’t have a specific answer on how the city can improve the process other than consulting with the people that use the services and determine how the process can be made easier for them to do business in Summerside.

“A one-stop-shopping sort of thing where all of the information needed is there,” he said. “The key thing in P.E.I. to do is to always make sure that whatever processes and policies that are put in place, that it’s a bottom-up approach and not a top down approach. That is key. They’re the ones that have the financial vested interest in. They’re the ones that are going to create the jobs and we need to be there to assist them and help stimulate the economy.”



Red Tape Ratings

Federal Government, B+

British Columbia, A

Quebec, B+

Saskatchewan, B

Ontario, B

New Brunswick, B

Newfound/Labrador, C+

Nova Scotia, C-

Prince Edward Island, D+

Alberta, D

Yukon, D

Manitoba, D-

Northwest Territories, F




Organizations: Federation of Independent Business, MRSB Consulting Services, Official Plan committee Downtown Business Association

Geographic location: Prince Edward Island, Summerside, British Columbia Quebec Saskatchewan Ontario New Brunswick Nova Scotia Alberta Yukon Northwest Territories

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Recent comments

  • Sick of Whining
    January 28, 2014 - 22:01

    Is anyone else getting sick of the constant whining of this group?

  • don
    January 28, 2014 - 20:25

    cory that is an understatement. but if you have money the red tape goes faster. and the pei government is the same it takes months to find if you got a loan or anything. and then you all wonder why people does not want to deal with months or years to start a business. the big thing is governments are not brain wise to know that PEI was build on the little guy not major money guys. the little store in the front of a house they build this island a tiny farmer build this island. not big companies. that is why lots of islanders are leaving PEI as there island will not help them.

  • andy
    January 28, 2014 - 20:06

    Gee... Erin McGrath-Gaudet (or is it Garth Staples?), I think we should get rid of that pesky red tape concerning deep water wells and pesticides. It certainly hinders your cherished small business potato farms. And we shouldn't have red tape such as building codes (with sprinklers for senior citizens homes) because that hinders your cherished small business general contractors. And we should get rid of official plans for municipalities because they hinder your cherished property developers who have nothing but the best of intentions for the greater good of society (such as enforcing architectural continuity in places like Old Brighton and Ambrose Street). You want the real truth? These annual report cards are nothing but verbal diarrhea coming from a self-aggrandizing organization that contributes ZERO to the national discourse. Much like CFIB's compatriots at the Fraser Institute, C.D. Howe Institute and AIMS. Here's a hint: If you fools don't like this country and its ideals, move to the Excited States of America. That banana republic will gladly take you and your well-informed Fox News world view with open arms.

  • Yup
    January 28, 2014 - 16:51

    Yup. Co-ordinated government-wide initiative, drafting of a new code of practice, and writing a new plan. That's just the way to clear red tape.

  • intobed
    January 28, 2014 - 16:34

    So does anyone want to guess why this "red tape" exists? Could it be to protect the public from unscrupulous people?

  • intobed
    January 28, 2014 - 15:31

    PEI's problem is not the "red tape", but the unscrupulous developers, farmers, and other business people who will take advantage of any possible loophole or slight ambiguity to do whatever they want to maximize profits, regardless of any negative effects on their neighbours. This is why the "red tape" grew in the first place, to protect Islanders from sleezy self-centered business people.