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/ .
Last month, however, Trump told reporters at the White House that he did not want to see negative rates in the United States.On Friday, Powell said the Fed would act appropriately to help maintain the U.S. economic expansion and that political factors played no role in the central bank’s decision-making process.Story continues belowThis advertisement has not loaded yet,but your article continues below.Federal Reserve policymakers cut interest rates in July for the first time in more than a decade. Financial markets expect the Fed to again lower its benchmark rate, currently at 2.00-2.25 per cent, when it meets next week.Trump also kept up his attack on Powell and the Fed in his tweets on Wednesday: “A once in a lifetime opportunity that we are missing because of ‘Boneheads.’”Despite Trump’s name-calling, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin told reporters at the White House on Monday he expected Powell’s job was safe, despite months of speculation that the president could seek to oust him.Risky MoveFed officials have downplayed the idea of setting their target policy rate below zero as politically untenable and not worth the risks. The policy is meant to account for extremely weak economic conditions by, in effect, charging banks to hold reserve deposits at the Fed.In theory those banks would put the money to more productive uses. But it raises risks.Banks might pay less to savers as a result, and it can make it more difficult to operate at a profit. In addition, while the Fed’s policy rate influences other borrowing costs, the interest rate on long-term government bonds Trump alluded to in his Tweet are set by larger market forces and depend mightily on perceptions about economic growth.The yield on 10-year Treasury notes has collapsed by half in recent months to a near record low — a reflection of doubts about the global economy and the impact of Trump’s trade war as much as of Fed policy. Trump has cited the negative yield on Germany’s 10-year bond approvingly, but it is a product of an economy nearing or perhaps in recession.Representatives for the White House did not respond to a request for comment on Trump’s tweets. The Washington Post, citing public filings and financial experts, reported last month that Trump, a real estate developer, could also personally save millions of dollars a year in interest if the Fed lowers rates, given the outstanding loans on his hotels and resorts.© Thomson Reuters 2019 WASHINGTON — U.S. President Donald Trump called on the Federal Reserve to push down interest rates into negative territory, a move reluctantly used by other world central banks to battle weak economic growth as it punishes savers and banks’ earnings in the process.Trump, in a pair of Twitter posts, said negative rates would save the government money on its debt. He did not address the risks or financial market tensions that central banks in Europe and Japan have confronted as a result of their negative rate policy, or the larger issue that negative rates have not done much to boost growth or raise inflation as intended.….The USA should always be paying the the lowest rate. No Inflation! It is only the naïveté of Jay Powell and the Federal Reserve that doesn’t allow us to do what other countries are already doing. A once in a lifetime opportunity that we are missing because of “Boneheads.”— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 11, 2019The Republican president has long called for lower interest rates and blasted Powell and the Fed for not quickly and drastically cutting them, which he sees as necessary to boost U.S. economic growth as he eyes re-election next year.