The Economic Growth Council, an advisory group to the Rankin government, outlined 16 recommendations today, July 7, focused on short-term, immediate actions aimed at supporting Nova Scotia’s post-pandemic economic recovery.
The recommendations will also build on the province’s reputation as a leader in regulatory reform and position it as Canada’s start-up and scale-up capital.
This is the first set of recommendations from the council. The government has already implemented two of the recommendations, deferred one and accepted the remainder.
A second set of recommendations is expected in September.
“The council acted swiftly to provide its first set of recommendations on how best to position Nova Scotia’s economy as we begin our post-pandemic recovery,” said Premier Iain Rankin. “They are bold and ambitious but also practical and thoughtful. They also reflect the imperative that growth is to be inclusive and sustainable.”
In response to the council’s recommendations, the government will expand and deepen its regulatory burden reduction target and remove an additional $30 million in unnecessary regulatory burden to ease business start-up and growth by the end of 2022.
This is its most aggressive target to date and will include a target to reduce time spent navigating challenging administrative requirements for vulnerable populations. Similarly, a reduction of unnecessary administrative burden on physicians will allow them to do what they do best – care for patients.
Government will also:
- waive all regulatory fees for businesses in their first two years
- create a one-stop-shop for start-up permits
- enhance provincial and municipal collaboration to ensure adequate housing strategy for housing of all types
Nova Scotia will also become Canada’s first jurisdiction to introduce a regulatory budget which will be included as part of the annual fiscal budget process. The budget will provide an overview of each department’s regulatory plans for the upcoming year to provide clarity and certainty for the business community.
A full list of the recommendations and government’s response can be found here: https://www.nsgrowthcouncil.ca
Council members include:
Scott Brison, chair
Chief Terry Paul
More information about council members is available here: https://www.nsgrowthcouncil.ca/members
The council’s recommendations are based on input from the business community. Additional outreach will take place as the council develops its next set of recommendations.
“Nova Scotia can become a leader in modern and agile government and a place to showcase innovation in government. We can become the best place in the world for start-ups and have tremendous capacity to be leaders in digital government. Focusing in these critical areas will assist citizens and business in their dealings with government and are foundational to creating the right environment for inclusive and sustainable growth.”
– Scott Brison, chair, Economic Growth Council
“The pandemic has created a new dynamic among business, government and communities not just to be more understanding of one another, but to take action and be innovative for collective gain. The council’s recommendations demonstrate this and set the tone for positive change and exciting opportunities as we move forward.”
– Jack Kyte, executive director, Pictou County Chamber of Commerce
“CFIB welcomes the council’s recommendations and the government’s commitment to implementing them. Nova Scotia has been a leader in creating a positive regulatory environment for business, regardless of size, stage, sector or location. In a post-pandemic environment, it is smart policy to make it as easy as possible to start, maintain or grow a small business. We look forward to working closely with the province as it implements these commitments.”
– Dan Kelly, president and chief executive officer, Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB)
- appointed by the Premier, the Economic Growth Council was created in April 2021 and is an independent voluntary advisory group
- two of the council’s recommendations – a COVID-19 reopening plan and a cap on restaurant delivery fees – have already been implemented
- since 2017, Nova Scotia has reduced unnecessary regulatory costs to business by $50 million (net) annually. In the most recent budget, it committed to reducing burden by an additional $5 million by end of June, as part of a modest target for removing an additional $10 million in burden reduction costs.
- the government will expand this work with its most aggressive target yet – removing $30 million net in unnecessary burden – to be achieved by end of 2022
- the government met the June target by announcing the use of bypass technology to allow motor carriers and commercial trucking operators in good safety standing to bypass compliance/weigh stations and mobile motor carrier inspection sites on the road. This increases the efficient transportation of goods across the province, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, increasing efficiency for the trucking sector and enhancing road safety, saving the trucking industry $5.3 million annually
- the government also permanently waived fees for interprovincial ferries, resulting in estimated annual savings of $75,000 for impacted businesses