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The Globe and Mail

In Pictures: Golden Scissors winner cuts red tape

Meet the individuals identified by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business for having motivated or demonstrated leadership, achieving positive savings for small businesses. Find out who the winner is ... on the last slide

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ALBERTA: Naheed Nenshi, mayor of Calgary After gathering research on which municipal departments are involved with starting and licensing a food truck business, Mr. Nenshi and his team found an opportunity to streamline the process by issuing permits through the department of traffic management, which was already issuing similar permits for festivals and special events. A pilot program involving the licensing of 10 food trucks was launched in the summer of 2011, and plans are now under way to expand the program. This simple yet innovative approach cut through red tape and resulted in food truck businesses being able to get up and running in less than three weeks.

Chris Young/chris young The Globe and Mail

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BRITISH COLUMBIA: Rick Thorpe Complying with provincial sales tax (PST) regulations had been identified by small business owners in B.C. as one of the top regulatory irritants. In 2004, then minister of provincial revenue, Mr. Thorpe, announced the introduction of a Taxpayer Fairness and Service Code to improve the relationship between taxpayers and the government. Mr. Thorpe’s leadership and personal dedication to its principles helped change the revenue ministry from an adversarial “business is the enemy” culture to one where the goal was to help businesses comply. After the introduction of the code, the number of small business complaints the CFIB received about the B.C. provincial sales tax dropped dramatically.


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BRITISH COLUMBIA: Frank Leonard (mayor of Saanich), Stewart Young (mayor of Langford), Paul Murray (director of finance for the city of Saanich), and David Duke (former municipal administrator for the city of Saanich) In 2000, municipalities in the capital region in B.C. got together to create a regional business license. No longer would business owners have to get an annual license from each municipality, but instead a “regional pass” allowed a firm to work throughout the entire region with one license. Mr. Leonard, Mr. Young, Mr. Murray and Mr. Duke were critical in executing the system, which has expanded to include 13 participating municipalities.


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ONTARIO: Bob Laramy, assistant deputy minister, Ontario Ministry of Finance During the transition to the harmonized sales tax (HST), Mr. Laramy was instrumental in helping to push for changes to support small businesses during this critical period. Apart from revamping the ministry’s website to include specific information for small businesses, measures were taken to accommodate late applications for transitional funding. A key component of political leadership is to identify and support change agents in all departments. Mr. Laramy, through his work on sales tax administration, has served as one of those important change agents for small businesses in Ontario.

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SASKATCHEWAN: Premier Brad Wall Mr. Wall has consistently shown leadership by launching new efforts to reduce unnecessary red tape for small and medium-sized businesses by committing to regulatory reform beginning in September, 2008, with the establishment of the Regulatory Modernization Council (RMC) and in 2010, he sent mandate letters to his ministers that reinforced the government’s desire to eliminate unnecessary bureaucratic requirements that serve as barriers to growth by making it one of the five tenets to achieving the province’s future growth and prosperity.

Chad Hipolito/The Globe and Mail

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MANITOBA: Mavis Taillieu, MLA Manitoba is one of the few provinces in Canada that is not actively taking steps to reduce red tape and the regulatory burden. Ms. Taillieu displayed determination and leadership on red tape reform by twice introducing a private members’ bill, the Regulatory Accountability and Transparency Act, in the Manitoba legislature. The main goal of the bill was to give Manitoba business owners more time to focus on their businesses, instead of grappling with government red tape.


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QUEBEC: Sam Hamad, minister of economic development Sam Hamad is known for the leadership role he has taken in all the positions he has held. Two key initiatives launched in 2011, in particular, demonstrated his commitment to reducing government red tape that has had a positive impact on small business owners: the creation of the Red Tape Reduction Committee and the launching of Quebec’s first Entrepreneurial Strategy.


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CANADA: Former minister of national revenue, Jean-Pierre Blackburn Mr. Blackburn showed leadership by implementing a small but significant change that required the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) - a department small business owners identify as being one of the most challenging to deal with - to get its call centre agents to provide an individual-specific ID number when asked. This small change helps small business taxpayers in a meaningful way as they can now identify who provided them with information. It also forces the agent to be more accountable for the information provided as it can be traced back should there be a problem.


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CANADA: Minister of State for Small Business and Tourism Maxime Bernier, and Diane Ablonczy, who formerly held the role Under the leadership and guidance of Mr. Bernier, who at the time was industry minister, and Ms. Ablonczy, the federal government launched the BizPaL, an online tool that greatly simplifies regulatory processes by providing a single list of all permits and licenses from all levels of government that are needed to open any kind of business in municipalities across Canada.

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AND THE WINNER IS ... BRITISH COLUMBIA: Minister of Finance Kevin Falcon In 2001, the provincial government made a commitment to reduce red tape by one-third over three years. Shortly after being appointed minister of deregulation, Mr. Falcon moved to set up a system to measure the red tape burden, publicly report on regulatory counts by ministry, and institute a rule that for every new rule introduced one must be eliminated until the target had been met. Ten years later, a 40-per-cent reduction has been achieved and the systemic reforms are still in place, making it the longest-lived and most successful regulatory reform exercise in Canadian history.


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