Hon. Tanya Fir, Associate Minister of Red Tape Reduction. Submitted photo.

Hon. Tanya Fir, Associate Minister of Red Tape Reduction. Submitted photo.

The Importance of Reducing Red Tape

Alberta has many advantages: abundant resources, beautiful natural landscapes, thriving cities, a young labour force and a comparatively low cost of living. As part of Alberta’s Recovery Plan, Alberta’s government is building on these advantages to make this province the best in the country to do business, invest, find jobs, acquire new skills or start a family.

Alberta’s Recovery Plan is a plan to breathe new life into Alberta’s economy and provide new opportunities for every Albertan. It’s a plan to build, diversify, and create jobs, and cutting red tape is a part of that plan to make businesses continue to come to Alberta.

Red tape reduction is a critical component of the government’s effort to achieve these outcomes and build a stable economic future for Albertans. We have cut 21 percent of red tape so far and the momentum continues.

The annual Red Tape Awareness Week, taking place Feb. 22 to 25, is a great opportunity to reflect upon our success and underscore our ongoing commitments to reform.

Thanks to the ideas and advice of Albertans and industry experts, we are well on our way to reducing red tape by one-third and creating the most attractive climate for investment and job creation.

And with Alberta’s Recovery Plan we are growing our resources by continuing to stand up for oil and gas, agriculture, forestry, and tourism…

We have eliminated more than 130,000 unnecessary requirements from the province’s regulations, legislation, policies and forms since April 2019. This translates into more than $1.2 billion in savings for Albertans and Alberta businesses.

These changes are not only about removing unnecessary government oversight – they are about reducing administrative burden and improving the delivery of government services through digital solutions and other important innovations.

This was particularly important during the COVID-19 pandemic, which reaffirmed the importance of reducing red tape and making it easier for Albertans, businesses and non-profits to access critical government supports and services.

We acted swiftly to introduce virtual doctor visits, allow restaurants to sell liquor alongside take-out meals, while amending legislation to provide organizations with the flexibility to hold virtual meetings and conduct electronic voting. I am happy to say all these improvements introduced during the pandemic will stay in place.

Other changes embraced the digital world—a trip to the lawyer’s office used to be the only way to sign certain documents requiring a witness. Now, many legal documents can be witnessed and commissioned remotely.

Perhaps most importantly, we are reducing costs to investors and our critical industries so they can provide jobs on which our future prosperity will be built. By adopting innovative approaches such as digitization or removing unnecessary permitting, we are reducing compliance costs for our critical industries and maintaining protections for our environment, our workers and our health and safety.

In 2021, the CFIB awarded Alberta its first “A” in the annual Red Tape Report Card, and congratulated us for being the most improved province. That’s a big change from previous years of failing grades under the previous government and recognizes the impact, and success, of our efforts to reduce red tape.

So we have a lot to celebrate this week! We have done tremendous work and continue to do so. But we didn’t do it alone. More than half of the initiatives implemented respond to ideas submitted by Albertans and our Red Tape Industry Panels made up of experts from Alberta’s key economic sectors.

Every Albertan deserves an opportunity to succeed. With Alberta’s Recovery Plan, those opportunities will be limitless

Let’s keep going! Our collaborative efforts are having impact. If you have an idea about how to reduce red tape that may be hindering economic growth, please share your thoughts at www.alberta.ca/CutReldTape.

-Hon. Tanya Fir, Associate Minister of Red Tape Reduction