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Manitoba government introduces legislation to reduce the burden of regulatory requirements on manufacturers and other stakeholders

Published by CME Manitoba on August 14, 2017

The Manitoba government introduces legislation to reduce the burden of regulatory requirements on manufacturers and other stakeholders

Manitoba has long been ranked near the bottom among other provinces in measurements of regulatory accountability according to the Canadian Federation of Independent Business. Until now, Manitoba did not have a regulatory measurement system, constraints placed on the expansion of regulatory requirements or legislation to ensure accountability for provincial regulation making.

The Manitoba government has now committed to reducing unnecessary barriers for businesses, local governments, non-profit organizations, and the citizens of this Province. The government wants to make sure unnecessary administrative burdens are removed so Manitobans can access the services they need efficiently and effectively, in order to make important contributions to their businesses and communities without the frustration of long waits or confusing instructions.

Called the Regulatory Accountability Act, this new  legislation was passed by the Manitoba Legislature on June 2, 2017 with the goal of turning the province of Manitoba from a laggard to a leader.

Once proclaimed, the legislation will require government to remove a regulatory requirement with a similar or greater administrative burden every time a new requirement is put in place. This one-for-one rule would cap the growth of regulatory requirements. A stricter two-for-one rule will be enforced until March of 2021, which requires two regulatory requirements with at least twice the administrative burden be removed for every new requirement put in place.  Administrative burden is the financial and economic costs for external stakeholders to comply with regulatory requirements.

The new legislation requires government to better track regulatory requirementsand improve approval and review processes to provide additional transparencyAs well, this legislation allows for a mandatory 45 days of public consultations before new regulations can be put in place. In addition, it requires that the effectiveness of regulations be evaluated within 3 years after their coming into force. 

The Regulatory Accountability Committee of Cabinet created under the new legislation is overseeing this important work. They in turn rely on the newly formed Regulatory Accountability Secretariat who has key responsibilities under the legislation, including coordinating the public posting of the proposed instruments, as well as receiving and analyzing comments from the public.

The Manitoba government is currently engaged in  identifying and evaluating thousands of regulatory instruments – Acts, regulations, policies, and forms – where regulatory requirements exist. The important first step of reviewing these instruments to determine how many regulatory requirements are in each one and who they affect – businesses, not for profit organizations, municipalities and/or citizens  is well underway. Identifying a baseline count sets a foundation from which a measure of current regulatory requirements across government can be measured and regulatory reductions and reduced administrative burdens can be tracked.

“Reducing red tape is part of our government’s plan to energize our economy and unleash our potential,” said Finance Minister Cameron Friesen earlier this year. "We are committed to making Manitoba the most improved province for regulatory accountability by 2020.”

The Manitoba government is already in discussions with CME Manitoba regarding regulatory accountability and red tape reduction, and looks forward to working closely together to ensure that the administrative burden of provincial regulatory requirement is minimized for manufacturers across the province.

Found in: Manufacturing Competitiveness

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