MPP JOURNAL for the week of , 2001


Businesses - both small and large - strive to grow and people naturally want to succeed. Sometimes the most important thing a government can do is simply get out of the way of the energy, drive and initiative of entrepreneurs and give them the freedom they need to grow their businesses.

In a vast enterprise such as the Government of Ontario, it's not surprising that we would have regulations and rules that overlap or are wasteful. Sometimes, regrettably, one finds a regulation that kills jobs or stops businesses from growing but no longer makes sense.

For instance, until the Mike Harris team changed the rules, it took longer to qualify as a movie projectionist in Ontario then to become a helicopter pilot.
Eliminating the barriers to growth was one of the cornerstones of The Common Sense Revolution, the Mike Harris plan to bring hope and opportunity back to Ontario after ten years of Liberal-NDP mismanagement. We reiterated that promise in Blueprint, our plan for Ontario in the 21st century.

After listening to concerned Ontarians, consumers, business owners and experts, we created the Red Tape Commission in order to remove barriers to growth. The Red Tape Commission is a permanent watchdog that aims to prevent and eliminate job-killing rules and regulations.

In the first few years of its mandate, the Red Tape Commission eliminated over 1,000 un-needed regulations that were hampering job creation. One of the commission's specific tasks is to evaluate all regulatory proposals using a new Business Impact Test that will weed out those proposals that are job-killing red tape. Review by the commission is mandatory for proposed regulations and policies that might have an impact on jobs or economic competitiveness.

It's clear that reforming regulations helps make our economy more competitive. In the era of freer trade and instant communication, Ontario always has to be vigilant in making sure it is the best place in North America to invest and create jobs.
Cutting red tape also lower prices since it lightens the burdens companies face in providing goods and services. Here's one small example. In one case, tour bus operators came to us explaining that an outdated provincial rule forced them to carry an axe on each and every bus. The trouble for tour bus operators was that every time that a bus crossed the Canada-US border those axes got confiscated as illegal weapons. We eliminated that out-of-date rule and helped lower the costs of operating a tour bus. In turn, those companies can pass the savings on to the consumer.

For small business owners and consumers, I would be happy to pass on any ideas or complaints that you might have about job-killing red tape. Feel free to contact my office with your suggestions on eliminating the barriers to growth. If you would like to learn more about our efforts to cut red tape, the commission has a website - - that can give you a good overview of its work.

Economic competitiveness and job creation can never be taken for granted. We must always be on the watch for needless red tape that has the potential to kill jobs or discourage investment. Only the Mike Harris Team can be relied on to protect jobs and build a climate of growth and opportunity in Ontario. You can count on us to continue our efforts to improve the lives of Ontarians by eliminating red tape.


David Tilson, MPP Dufferin-Peel-Wellington-Grey


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