Businesses in Ontario today have a tremendous burden dealing with business regulations and red tape.
Business regulations are intended to serve Ontario citizens by ensuring fair business practices, consumer and public safety, community welfare and care of the natural environment.
While Ontario’s business supports and demonstrates leadership in advancing these objectives, business regulations in Ontario are extensive and unduly heavy, covering every aspect of business. Included are: government imposed legislation, taxation, regulations, registrations, licenses, permits, approvals, restrictions, standards, guidelines, procedures, reporting, certification requirements, paperwork, investigations, inspection and enforcement practices, that truly are not needed to the extent that exists to protect public health, safety and the environment.
Dealing with business regulations is a huge cost to business, and in many circumstances the regulation itself, its application, or enforcement, is unnecessary and unjustifiably crude and inflexible. The result is a strong hindrance on job creation, investment opportunities and weakened competitiveness. This regulatory environment is extremely detrimental to long-term economic sustainability and growth, and is particularly threatening to business and jobs coming out of a deep economic recession.
In 2008, the Ontario Government announced its “Open for Business” vision to better serve and support business and economic development in the province.
“Open for Business” was intended to be an ambitious three-year initiative, through the Ministry of Economic Development, to reduce the regulatory burden on business while protecting the public interest.
In order for the Provincial Government to be truly serious about its vision for Ontario to be “Open for Business”, the current business regulatory framework that threatens business every day must be shifted significantly, and a stronger commitment is needed at all levels within government, to better support business, economic sustainability, competitiveness and growth.
Sheldon Leiba is the President & CEO of Mississauga Board of Trade, Mississauga’s leading business association. Mississauga Board of Trade represents businesses in all industry sectors. Visit www.mbot.com.