Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to share my time here today with my colleague from Don Valley West and particularly to have the opportunity to speak to this bill.
As members are aware, I had the opportunity to chair the Red Tape Reduction Commission several months ago. This bill enshrines in law a very important rule. Of course I am referring to the one-for-one rule, which entrepreneurs asked for in consultations.
What does this rule mean in terms of regulations?
It is quite simple: any time one of my cabinet colleagues wishes to introduce a new regulation that affects entrepreneurs and business people, he or she must remove or eliminate another. That is why it is called the one-for-one rule. This will ensure that the administrative burden on businesses does not increase from year to year.
This rule has already been in effect for a year here in the government. It is a pleasure for me to enshrine it in law to ensure that it is always followed and to fulfill our campaign commitment to Canadians.
When a minister has to repeal a regulation, he or she must remove a regulation with an administrative burden that is equal to that of the regulation to be implemented. This new regulation must therefore have the same cost of compliance for businesses.
Consequently, regulations are assessed so that when the minister wants to implement a new regulation, he or she removes a regulation that carries the same weight for small businesses.
This rule was instituted as a result of the consultations that we, the members of the commission, conducted. In all, 15 round tables were held in 13 different Canadian cities, and they were attended by 189 entrepreneurs or their representatives through their associations. We also received submissions through the Internet.
We concluded that business people want less government regulation and a more efficient government that does not treat people like children by holding their hands their whole life. They want a government that respects individuals' freedom and responsibility and that treats Canadians and entrepreneurs like free and responsible people. Canadians are responsible and they know that they must obey Canada's laws. However, we must eliminate redundant regulations that affect the profitability of businesses. That is why we have introduced the one-for-one rule.
People who appeared before the commission told us that government regulations have an impact on their companies' bottom line. We all know that time is money. In a small business with less than 10 employees, filling out a form required by the state means that they are not doing what they do best, that is, working for themselves, creating jobs and being more productive. That is why this rule is in the bill and will be enshrined in law so as to ensure that the administrative burden on businesses does not increase.
During our consultations, we identified more than 2,300 clear and specific irritants. I invite members and Canadians to have a look at the Red Tape Reduction Commission's report, which provides a list of irritants specific to various federal government departments. There were more than 2,300—