June 28th, 2019
Red Tape Reduction Act
Came Into Force
Bill 4 sets the groundwork for the work that the Associate Minister of Red Tape Reduction will do to reduce regulations in Alberta. This includes dictating the creation of a report on regulations deemed unnecessary, and the ability of the Lieutenant Governor to create or amend regulations.
Bill 4 opens with a preamble, containing five “whereas clauses” - this is essentially the government saying “We are operating based on these assumptions or beliefs” when creating the actual legislation.
The first clause states that the government recognizes that a consistent, transparent, and efficient system of regulatory and administrative requirements is necessary to protect the public interest - including the health and safety of the public, as well as protecting the environment and fiscal accountability.
The second clause states that some regulatory and administrative requirements result in unnecessary costs to Albertans, be it in terms of money, time, or other resources. This puts a burden on businesses, non-profit organizations, and public sector organizations, and threatens jobs.
The third clause states that addressing the requirements that cause these burdens will enable economic growth, innovation, and competitiveness, and facilitate a strong investment climate in Alberta, which will get Albertans back to work and make life better for them.
The fourth clause states that the government is committed to acting quickly and purposefully to eliminate or prevent any unnecessary regulatory or administrative requirements by establishing strategies and initiatives based on the principles of necessity, effectiveness, efficiency, and proportionality, including moving from a process-based to an outcome-based approach to regulations.
The fifth and final clause states that the government will strive to ensure that these strategies and initiatives meet a standard of excellence that citizens can rely on and taxpayers can afford, with no net increase in regulatory or administrative burdens.
Section 1 of the Act defines “Minister” as the Minister determined under section 16 of the “Government Organization Act” as the Minister responsible for this Act.
Section 2 declares that, starting in 2020, the Minister will prepare a report respective the government’s strategies and initiatives to eliminate and prevent unnecessary regulations. The Minister will make this report available to the public, and bring the report to the Legislative Assembly as soon as is practical if it’s currently sitting, or within 15 days of the Assembly sitting if it currently isn’t.
Section 3 establishes the power to amend regulations, as they’re defined by the “Regulations Act”. When multiple regulations are going to be amended at the same time to eliminate or prevent unnecessary regulatory or administrative requirements, the Lieutenant General can amend them notwithstanding that one or more of the regulations was made by a member of the Executive Council (i.e., a Minister, the Premier, etc.). However, Section 3 doesn’t authorize any amendments to regulations that wouldn’t have been authorized by the Act that the regulation was created by.
Section 4 establishes the rules surrounding the ability of the Lieutenant Governor to make regulations. They can make regulations respecting the contents of the report made under Section 2 and the government’s strategies and initiatives to eliminate and prevent unnecessary requirements, including regulations respecting the methods used to assess the effectiveness of the government’s strategies and initiatives. It also allows them to make regulations respecting anything the Lieutenant Governor considers necessary or advisable to eliminate or prevent.