TORONTO – With Canada’s fourth annual Red Tape Awareness Week drawing to a close, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business has awarded its Golden Scissors Award to the Gail Shea, Canada’s Minister of National Revenue.
“Minister Gail Shea is a leader in Canada’s Red Tape Revolution,” said CFIB’s executive vice-president Laura Jones. “For years, the Canada Revenue Agency has been a source of frustration for entrepreneurs. Her reforms have significantly improved the CRA’s service to small business, and they’re making a difference every day.”
In the past, when small businesses contacted CRA to ask tax-related questions, they had no assurance the information provided was correct, or that it would be respected in future audits. And until recently, firms had no ability to communicate with the agency through email. Shea is honoured for changing CRA’s My Business Account into an online system for communicating with government, and ensuring that advice is respected by CRA, even when it is found to be incorrect.
A panel of judges, comprised of several senior-level CFIB employees chose the winner from dozens of nominations received across Canada. The winner will receive a special trophy, framed certificate, and recognition on the CFIB website, Facebook page, and other member communication.
The judges awarded three honourable mentions, who will receive framed certificates to recognize their achievements:
- The Hon. Rob Moore, Member of Parliament for Fundy Royal; the Hon. Tony Clement, President of the Treasury Board; and the Hon. Maxime Bernier, Minister of State for Small Business and Tourism for leading the federal Red Tape Reduction Commission. These individuals have set the gold standard for real regulatory reform. The Commission listened to business owners from coast to coast, and recommended a long list of specific and systemic red tape reduction initiatives. The Commission has given hope to entrepreneurs across the country and may one day be seen as a critically important step towards changing the culture within government.
- The Hon. Alison Redford, Premier of Alberta; the Hon. Brad Wall, Premier of Saskatchewan; and the Hon. Christy Clark, Premier of British Columbia, for creating common business licensing rules through the New West Partnership. This is a cross-jurisdictional initiative that will save small business time and money. It may also set a precedent for other forms of inter-provincial cooperation.
- Nancy MacLellan, Executive Director for Service Delivery, Service Nova Scotia, for introducing BizPaL and improving service standards, such as requiring that most provincial licenses and permits be processed within 10 business days. Ms. MacLellan has a long commitment to regulatory reform, and her actions demonstrate the importance of getting public servants involved in cutting red tape.
Last year’s Golden Scissors winner was British Columbia’s then-Finance Minister Kevin Falcon for cutting red tape for small business by more than 40 per cent, and introducing the Regulatory Reporting Act.