The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) is recognizing their “Red Tape Awareness Week” starting January 30 by awarding the biggest yearly failures and successes of government regulation.

“Everyone is affected by regulations,” said media relations officer Dariya Baiguzhiyeva in an email to True North. “Many of them are necessary […]. Some of them, however, simply add burdens for small businesses or citizens to comply with, like forcing a rural business in a B.C. town at the end of a street to build a sidewalk extension to nowhere.”

Baiguzhiyeva said the annual “red tape” event is designed to put a spotlight on such issues. CFIB aims to minimize the time, money and stress Canadians spend dealing with counterproductive regulations in the country.

This year, the CFIB introduced a new event to the program.

“We are putting a spotlight on red tape in the healthcare sector with our Patients before Paperwork report,” said Vice-President of Legislative Affairs of Ontario Ryan Mallough. 

“The report […] will break down how many hours physicians lose to unnecessary paperwork each year, and how many patient visits could be generated with a concerted effort to cut through that red tape.”

In September, True North reported that nearly six million Canadians did not have a family doctor.

“Red tape” doesn’t end in the doctor’s office, though.

On Tuesday, the CFIB will bring back its “paperweight award.” The token is awarded to the government body that created the most disruptive burden on Canadians and small business operators this year.

The most recent winner was the government of British Columbia in 2020, for the province’s “employer health tax.” The program required business owners to estimate quarterly tax deductibles, and at the end of the year charged interest fees to owners who had not made the right calculation, according to the CFIB.