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Tired of Red Tape?

Red Tape(Queen's Park Report - January 20, 2010) Is onerous red tape holding you or your business back?  Are you pointlessly filling out government forms, obtaining permits for things you shouldn’t need permits for, or waiting for approvals from endless layers of bureaucracy?  If so, I want to hear from you.

The phrase “red tape” dates back to 16th century.  That’s when Henry VIII presented documents to Pope Clement VII petitioning him to terminate his marriage.  As was the tradition, the papers were tied together with red tape.  Nowadays, red tape is a term often used to describe excessive or redundant regulations that slow down the decision making process and impede our ability to thrive.

According to the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, red tape costs Ontario $10.9 billion per year.  That’s nine times more than the government spends at the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. 

In an attempt to tackle overregulation, the previous Progressive Conservative struck a Red Tape Commission that saw the elimination of over 2,100 unnecessary regulations.  Prior to that undertaking, it was actually illegal in Ontario to make yellow coloured margarine because it looked too much like real butter.   Also prior to that, movie theatre projectionists had to get 800 hours of training before taking on a job, even though helicopter pilots only required 600 hours of training.

Unfortunately, silly government rules like those have crept back onto the books under Dalton McGuinty’s watch.  He’s created hundreds of new regulations that are hindering the ability of businesses and individuals to accomplish something. 

When I talk to business owners they often talk about the mounds of paperwork they have to pile through.  The list of forms to complete is extensive, including those for sales taxes, payroll taxes, workers compensation, business licenses and permits, records of employment, sign by-law requirements, privacy rules and the list goes on and on. 

As if the paperwork isn’t enough, there are also stories out there about people getting approvals to build something from one branch of government, say the Ministry of Natural Resources, only to be fined and hauled into court by another department, like the Ministry of Environment.
 
These are the reasons why Tim Hudak and the Progressive Conservative Caucus are once again taking action.  Our red tape watchdog, MPP Julia Munro, has launched www.tiredofredtape.ca in an effort to hear from consumers and small businesses concerned with burdensome red tape.  We want to read your stories.  Tell us how we can improve the efficiency of government and point to areas where the McGuinty government is letting you down. 

Of course, if you require help in sorting through a particular problem, you’re always welcome to call my office at 1-800-268-7542 for assistance.

We look forward to hearing from you!

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