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Project hopes to have Cape Breton businesses dealing with less red tape

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SYDNEY, N.S. —

Cape Breton businesses will have less red tape to deal with due to a provincial pilot project that will modernize and align regulations across the island.

It’s being launched by the Office of Regulatory Affairs and Service Effectiveness, in partnership with the Cape Breton Regional Municipality, the Town of Port Hawkesbury and the counties of Inverness, Richmond and Victoria. Together, they will work to identify specific areas where regulatory approaches can be aligned. The project will also include customer service training for Cape Breton inspectors, putting bylaws online to make them more accessible to businesses across the island and aligning land-use bylaws.

It’s getting support from local politicians.

"If we can make it a little easier for the hard-working business owners across the island by working together with our municipal and provincial partners, then it's a priority for us,” says CBRM Mayor Cecil Clarke.

Business also appears to be on board.

"Launching a new business is a daunting task,” says Parker Horton of Breton Air. “When we started our business, we used the Business Navigator service, launched by the Office of Regulatory Affairs and Service Effectiveness. The navigator was very helpful and was able to identify a requirement that we had overlooked. I'm really pleased to see the partnership between the office and the Cape Breton municipalities expand. More collaboration will only help the island realize its full economic potential."

And that’s what Premier Stephen McNeil wants to hear. McNeil is also the Minister responsible for the Office of Regulatory Affairs and Service Effectiveness. Cutting red tape is part of the office’s mandate. It has saved businesses over $34 million annually since its creation in 2015 and is on track to save an additional $10 million annually by the end of 2020.

"This partnership among the province and the Cape Breton municipalities is another example of how strongly we are committed to improving the business climate in our province," said McNeil.

"By making it clear to businesses how to comply with regulations it makes it easier for them to operate smoothly and grow."

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