Reducing Red Tape

Objective 1

Identify areas of priority for improvement in municipal and provincial regulation to reduce regulatory burden for business and a plan of action to implement changes by the end of Phase II of the Joint Project, targeted for December 2020.
Actions Improvements Status

(1) Amend the Municipal Streets By-law regulation and simplify administrative processes to make it easier to service infrastructure in the Municipal right-of-way.

This will result in easier and faster permission for businesses doing routine sign maintenance and window washing including:

• Removing the requirement for two permits to just one

• Enable businesses to take out an annual permit to service infrastructure instead of multiple permits

100% complete

(2) Streamline the municipality’s application review for high-volume, routine planning and development permits.

This will shorten wait times for more routine permits and free-up staff time to process major planning applications to help shorten planning application approval times. 100% complete

(3) Implement Phase I of a new digital - online program for the municipality’s Permit, Licensing and Compliance (PLC) services beginning with building permits, plan review, and inspections.

*Future Phases will include licenses, planning applications, and subdivision

This will result in shorter wait times for customers and more effective municipal service delivery through electronic application submission, review, and approvals including:

• Faster and more accurate processing through a self-service customer portal

• Online payment system

• Improved document and work-flow management and customer communication

• Easier access to data which result in municipal service improvements

95% complete

Objective 2

Identify specific regulatory priorities to align municipal and provincial approach in areas that impact business using early engagement and coordinated action.
Actions Improvements Status

(4) The municipality will support the NS Business Navigators by providing information on Municipal regulation processes and standards, to help improve customer service and compliance.

This will remove the irritation of multiple steps and confusion for businesses who need information on Municipal and Provincial regulation and reduce the time it takes for businesses to work through the end-to-end compliance process. 50% complete (this action has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and will be carried over to the 2021/22 red tape reduction action plan)

(5) Develop a joint (municipal & provincial) inspection plan to improve the inspection process for business

This will result in:

• An easier and more transparent inspection process

• Improved municipal and provincial service by providing customer service training for inspectors focusing on the needs of smaller businesses and start-ups

• A new Inspection Navigator service to help business customers with the inspection process including compliance with multiple government inspections

• Stronger public safety outcomes with better compliance.

35% complete

(6) Convene focused working teams to align the municipality and the Province in reducing red tape for business in priority areas.

will bring the Province and HRM together earlier when regulations are being developed to avoid red-tape and align public policy. The first team will help develop new regulations for the NS Traffic Safety Act. 65% complete

Objective 3

Develop and implement a plan to assess the municipal regulatory impact and to monitor and measure regulatory burden reduction over time.
Actions Improvements Status
(7) Develop an action plan to help implement the Municipal Charter of Governing Principles for Regulation and begin measuring performance in priority areas of regulatory burden reduction. This will improve HRM’s process when considering new regulation or regulatory changes including:

• More consistent implementation of Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA) tool and the Business Impact Assessment (BIA) tools to design better quality regulation

• Implement performance measurement activities including data collection and analysis to measure red-tape reduction and guide regulatory changes in priority areas.

80% complete

Objective 4

Take measures to improve internal government and external stakeholder engagement to help modernize regulation.
Actions Improvements Status
(8) Using a variety of engagement methods, conduct activities to communicate and consult with stakeholders on regulatory modernization priorities and projects. This will raise awareness of the importance of red-tape reduction accountability for the Municipality and the Province to continue modernizing the regulatory environment. Information will be more accessible to the public and there will be more opportunities for stakeholder engagement in regulatory modernization initiatives.

This will result in better coordination between the Province and Municipality and higher customer confidence in public service delivery.

25% complete (This action has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and will be carried over to a 2021-22 red-tape reduction action plan.)