If the government would deep-six all the red tape, Canadian businesses could save nearly $11 billion per year and finally get workers on the path to a four-day work week.
That is the latest finding from the Fraser Institute, the Vancouver-based think tank.
“Businesspeople and entrepreneurs in Canada should be focused on innovation, improving products, serving customers and growing their businesses, not filling out forms and reports to various levels of governments, which takes time and imposes real financial costs,” said Steven Globerman, who edited the essay called The Drag on Productivity from Excessive Regulation.
The research found Canadian businesses spend $36 billion on regulation each year but need to cough up only $25 million to preserve the environment, and the health and safety of Canadians.
In addition, Globerman concluded the country’s smallest businesses and startups pay five times the per-employee cost of regulation compared to large businesses.
It all adds up to a slowdown in productivity growth, and a reduction in wages and employment opportunities.
“By eliminating undue restrictions on who’s allowed to work in specific occupations, governments can help workers better capitalize on their specific skills, which will fuel labour productivity and higher wages,” said Fraser Institute senior fellow Robert P. Murphy, who authored a related essay called The Importance of Labour Market Mobility to Productivity Growth.
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