The Office of Regulatory Affairs and Service Effectiveness released its first annual report today, June 30. The office was created in March 2015 by the governments of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. Prince Edward Island joined in November, making it a Maritime initiative. The office’s mandate is to reduce barriers for doing business in Nova Scotia and within the region. Over the past year, legislation was introduced and passed in the three provinces, and recordkeeping requirements were aligned. The timing of minimum wage changes was aligned in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island will align the timing of its minimum wage changes in 2017. The office also: made progress on common documents for procurement with help from the business community and government departments made recommendations to make interactions with workers’ compensation systems simpler announced plans to mutually recognize some safety standards in the region. In addition, the Nova Scotia government reduced red tape through initiatives such as making it easier to get business licences and permits, eliminating some licences, and moving processes and apprenticeship forms online. “Many people in the business community and across government have invested time and effort to identify and help design our early initiatives. Their partnership is not only important, it’s key to making this work,” said Fred Crooks, chief regulatory officer for Nova Scotia. “And while we’ve made good progress at a good pace, there’s more work to be done to create Canada’s best regulatory climate.” In the year ahead, the office will focus on introducing measurement and target setting to reduce regulatory burden and on service improvements around regulation. To view the report, visit http://novascotia.ca/regulatoryopportunity/ .