Cutting red tape at City Hall will increase productivity and revenue
October 15, 2013
The Calgary Chamber has tabled its policy book for the 2013 Municipal Election. Great Calgary is the product of conversations with our membership on the topics and issues that matter to them moving forward in this election cycle. Great Calgary focuses on keeping our businesses and communities competitive on a global scale for the next four years.
We are openly inviting mayoral and council hopefuls to take into account what our members have to say and to engage on the eight key topics the Chamber has laid out in the Great Calgary policy book. This week we take a look at cutting red tape.
Red tape and regulatory hold ups are significant factors when it comes to weighing down a city’s competitiveness. Businesses often don’t realize how the true costs of having to wait for economic approvals- it’s not just about the costs but the lost productivity as well.
When Mayor Naheed Nenshi was elected to office in 2010, one of the key points in his campaign was cutting red tape. However since that time, the Chamber feels that while the Cut Red Tape initiative has managed to find some transaction cost savings, many businesses still face economic losses and additional costs due to the time needed to obtain permits required for them to operate and do business.
The 2013 municipal election document, Great Calgary, takes a look at what it would truly mean to cut red tape at city hall and get processes for businesses moving at a much faster rate. Chamber membership has noted that the approval system is a long and time consuming process, with rules that are unclear and open to interpretation by the City administration. Great Calgary recommends that permit approval speed be greatly increased, so long as businesses meet the minimum time requirements for permits. Another key feature to the policy includes a mandatory impact assessment policy for all new bylaws in order to increase administrative simplicity on the city approval process.
If City Council takes the Chamber’s Great Calgary policy on cutting red tape into consideration, it will make our city a more competitive place to do business. In the long term, mandatory impact assessment would cut red tape before bylaws are even passed. In addition, striving for administrative simplicity will reduce costs and time for both businesses and the City.
Throughout the 2013 election, the Chamber has been discussing the Great Calgary policy book and what it means to success and growth within our city, not only to businesses but communities as well. We invite you to take a full look at Great Calgary’s section on cutting red tape.