To officially launch Canada’s second Red Tape Awareness Week, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) released the Red Tape Diaries, a collection of firsthand accounts detailing the frustration Canadian small business owners face as a result of excessive government regulation and red tape.
Contained within the pages of CFIB’s compilation is a variety of tales which have been submitted by small business owners from across the country.
Karen McNee, a former nurse and owner of Warm Buddy Company in North Vancouver, was ordered to recall and destroy her product (a stuffed animal made with a removable rice pack) when rice was reclassified as a seed by Health Canada in the Hazardous Product Act. McNee’s small business of 15 years was destroyed without any consultation, communication or respect from the government.
“This is just a tiny sampling of the hundreds of thousands of stories that are out there. It all adds up to a colossal waste of entrepreneur’s time and money and clearly diverts their focus away from where it needs to be — building their businesses, creating jobs, and expanding the economy,” said Laura Jones, CFIB vice-president for Western Canada and regulatory reform expert.
A 2010 CFIB report estimated that regulation costs Canadian businesses $30 billion each year in compliance costs alone, the brunt of which is being felt by the smallest firms. Whereas businesses with more than 100 employees spend a yearly average of $1,117 per employee to comply with regulations, companies with 0 to 4 employees spend an average of $5,825.
According to Canadian businesses, the burden could be reduced by at least 25 per cent without harming the legitimate objectives of regulation such as protecting health and safety.
“It’s time for Canadians to demand that governments take this issue seriously. We hope these stories will help,” noted Catherine Swift, president and CEO.
CFIB will be conducting a number of other special initiatives this week to draw attention to the issue and encourage entrepreneurs across Canada to advocate for change. Visit CFIB’s Red Tape Awareness Week official web and Facebook pages to find out what’s on tap for the rest of the week.
To read all the diaries visit: www.cfib-fcei.ca/redtape