Morris MLA Mavis Taillieu was one of 11 Canadians nominated for the inaugural Golden Scissors Award sponsored by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business. She was honoured for legislation she brought forward on two occasions to reduce red tape in Manitoba.
As the old saying goes, "if you don't succeed at first, try, try again." That's what Morris MLA Mavis Taillieu plans to do with her private members bill designed to cut down on government regulations.
And that bill caught the eye of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business and now Taillieu is one of 11 finalists nominated for the CFIB's Golden Scissors Award. She is the only Manitoban among the finalists.
The MLA introduced her Regulatory Accountability and Transparency Act (nicknamed the red tape bill) in the Manitoba Legislature, but with no interest from the governing NDP that led to a quick end.
"The idea of the bill is to reduce red tape and regulatory restrictions," Taillieu said. "It's to encourage the elimination of unnecessary regulations and encourage restraint on new regulations."
One area she said her bill doesn't delve into are health and safety regulations. Instead she wants to target regulations that are out of date or archaic. In order to keep tab on any regulatory changes, the MLA included provisions for annual reports to be made.
Taillieu said current regulations can bog down a small business owner in a volume of forms, which can be costly and turn-off prospective business owners.
"We need to encourage small business as they're the backbone of our economy," she said.
The Conservative opposition plans to re-introduce her bill when the spring legislative session starts.
A CFIB spokesperson complimented the Morris MLA and her private members bill.
"(She) certainly did demonstrate leadership in twice introducing the bill," CFIB Prairie and Agri-business vice-president Marilyn Braun-Pollon said. "She really did show enormous tenacity and determination."
Braun-Pollon said the private members bill Taillieu brought forward is what Manitoba needs.
The CFIB said her bill would give Manitoba business owners their own time back to focus on their business instead of grappling with government red tape.
"The bill required the Manitoba government to develop formal procedures to make the process for enacting regulations more transparent," the CFIB said in a press release. "It also required government departments to develop regulatory reform plans to eliminate unnecessary regulations and encourage restraint in making new regulations."
Although there will be only one winner of the award, Braun-Pollon said all nominees have done great work.
"We're really looking forward to recognizing all the finalists," she said. "It think it will be a very difficult job to make a decision."
She said red tape costs business owners time and money, which is passed on to the consumer. Although she recognized a certain amount of regulation is necessary, Braun-Pollon said governments need to get serious about reducing it.
The winner of the award will receive a special trophy, framed certificate, and recognition on the CFIB website, Facebook page and other member communications.
The 11 nominees were chosen from various levels of government from across Canada by a panel of judges of CFIB representatives.
The business lobby group was established in 1971 and now has more than 108,000 members across Canada.