HRM: A plan of action on regulatory reform was presented Jan. 18 to HRM’s Community Planning and Economic Development Standing Committee.

The plan was presented by Jordi Morgan, chair of Halifax’s Joint Project Advisory Panel and Canadian Federation of Independent Business vice-president Atlantic.

“Business owners tell us time spent on outdated, unnecessary, duplicative and overly complex regulations and processes takes valuable time away from growing their business,” said Morgan in a release. “The plan I presented today, on behalf of the Joint Project Advisory Panel, sets the stage for a more business-friendly approach to regulation, processes and services in Halifax.”

Regulatory reform is one of the most powerful ways governments can encourage economic growth by putting conditions in place that increase business productivity, innovation and success.

The Joint Project on Regulatory Modernization recognizes this principle and the Joint Project Advisory Panel is advancing a plan to improve the way businesses interact with the Province of Nova Scotia and the Halifax Regional Municipality by reducing red tape.

“This collaborative initiative marks a significant step towards creating better regulation for better results,” said Jacques Dubé, Chief Administrative Officer for HRM. “Regulatory reform includes, but goes beyond cutting red tape. It’s about making it easier and less costly for businesses to work and interact with government – ultimately ensuring that everything we do creates value for the taxpayer.”

From regulatory changes, to simplified administrative process, a customer-centered approach to service and measuring and understanding the cost of red tape on business, the plan is a comprehensive approach to regulatory reform. Priority improvements include steps to simplify the annual application for sidewalk cafes and reducing the time it takes to process special event noise exemptions. These are just a few of the specific goals for the short-term that will have a positive impact on business.

“We are delighted to be a partner with the Halifax Regional Municipality and the business community ‎in reducing red tape and creating a better environment for business and citizens,” said Fred Crooks, Chief Regulatory Officer for the Government of Nova Scotia. “We know that a part of the solution is ensuring that the two levels of government are well coordinated, especially in service delivery, and that any conflict or duplication in their regulatory programs is eliminated. Those are exactly the objectives of this collaboration.”

The Joint Project on Regulatory Modernization is a collaborative effort involving the HRM; the Province of Nova Scotia, Halifax Partnership, Halifax Chamber of Commerce, Urban Development Institute, Spring Garden Road Business Association (representing Halifax’s Business Improvement Associations), Restaurants Canada and the Canadian Federation of Independent Business.

Details regarding progress of the Joint Project on Regulatory Modernization will be shared via in the coming weeks.