The Houston government is touting the importance of this week’s spotlight on Red Tape Reduction, all while having turfed the Economic Growth Council without presenting any real plan for our province’s post-COVID economy.
The cross-sector advisory council came in last spring with an aggressive target of removing $30 million in unnecessary regulatory barriers to businesses – a key component of any serious economic recovery plan and an ambitious goal welcomed by the CFIB at the time.
Premier Houston scrapped the council immediately upon taking office, a mere days before the panel was set to release a more comprehensive set of recommendations for economic recovery.
“Red tape is a burden to businesses on the best of days, so imagine that type of hardship through a pandemic,” says Liberal Leader Iain Rankin. “Our economy’s ability to rebound after COVID is contingent on removing these hurdles. The Houston government isn’t making that connection.”
After repeated Freedom of Information requests to the Premier’s Office on work done by the council, the office continues to dodge a response. It begs the question – why is the Houston government hiding information on a group that was convened to help the economy?
“Getting rid of the advisory panel is one thing. But in seven months, they haven’t presented a suitable replacement. That’s just neglect,” says Rankin.