Canada's Treasury Board President Tony Clement speaks during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill.
Credits: REUTERS/Chris Wattie
OTTAWA - New rules governing how businesses are regulated will help small businesses in particular see less red - tape, that is - according to an announcement made by the Treasury Board Monday.
Introducing the Red Tape Reduction Action Plan, Treasury Board President Tony Clement said small businesses would be liberated from bureaucracy to focus more on job creation and innovation.
"We heard from businesses and Canadians about what we can do to make it easier for them to deal with government," Clement said.
The plan introduces six systemic changes to reduce the administrative burden on small businesses, improve their dealings with regulators and improve services.
Corinne Pohlmann, vice president of national affairs at the lobby group Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses, called the plan a "significant step forward" that represented a "holistic approach" to business management.
Liberal business critic Joy Murray called the plan "business as usual" and noted that while the government claims to be reducing red tape, it will make drastic cuts to the Canada Revenue Agency - a resource of invaluable importance to small businesses in particular, she said.
The CRA's business assistance budget for 2012-2013 is $353 million, reduced to $69 million for the following budgetary year.
NDP critic Mathieu Ravignat said the government often uses "red tape" to justify cuts and expressed concern that some are already affecting Canadians negatively.
"Those cuts to the CRA hit small- and medium-businesses drastically."