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(from June 2006)

The Chamber is all over the fight to reduce excess regulation—not affectionately known as red tape—no matter where it comes from. At a time when productivity and innovation are seen as the keys to economic and social prosperity we cannot allow restrictive and punitive regulations to hinder the very people who can deliver a better future for Nova Scotia.

We’ve created our Red Tape Man anti-hero to indicate the particularly sticky areas we think there is excess regulation that needs to be eliminated.

Gas regulation

The Chamber opposes the regulation of fuel prices because of the negative impact is has on the business environment and consumers. When our government is seen to be imposing excess regulation it discourages local businesses and deters new businesses from moving here.

Downtown development

The Chamber continues to be a vocal supporter of Halifax’s new regional plan, which points to the positive economic and social spin-offs of higher densities in urban areas. Downtown development is beneficial to Halifax because the infrastructure is already in place, as opposed to urban sprawl, which requires many new services. High density means high demand for shops, restaurants and nightlife. Despite these positives, debates over recent development proposals have been bogged down by costly appeals and unclear criteria.

Transportation

Transportation is a key issue for the Halifax business environment. The Chamber’s main focus now is advocating for an Open Skies concept that would benefit international air travel in our region, contributing also to Canada’s competitiveness and prosperity. The ability for air carriers to serve Halifax without regulatory hurdles, hindrances or obstacles is paramount to the future of air transportation and business development to Nova Scotia and the Atlantic region.