The province has taken the first steps to establish a new, 10-day service standard for government permits and licences for businesses and individuals. The service standard is set out in the Better Regulation Initiative’s progress report released today, Nov. 20. “Nova Scotia has made more efficient regulation a priority and has set aggressive targets to improve its business climate while, at the same time, ensuring citizen protection,” said Jamie Muir, chair of the Treasury and Policy Board and Minister responsible for the Better Regulation Initiative. “With the release of the Better Regulation initiative’s second progress report, we are delivering on our commitment to report publicly and regularly.” The 2006-07 progress report highlights the province’s commitment to reduce the paper work burden for business. It also features examples of the province’s improvements to the regulatory climate, including a new weigh-in motion system, a new septic approval process, and a new propane registration system for residential installations. Last month, the province announced it had stopped the growth of provincial regulatory paper work and made an initial reduction of 2.5 per cent. A service standard for processing applications for licences and permits within 10 business days will complement the efforts to reduce paperwork by tackling the time business waits to hear the results of their applications. “Nova Scotia’s Better Regulation Initiative has all of the factors needed for success, including measurement, public reporting and reduction targets,” said Leanne Hachey, vice-president Atlantic, Canadian Federation of Independent Business. “It’s a model we are waving across the country.” The Better Regulation Initiative is a multi-pronged approach to improving the provincial government’s regulatory climate. It aims to maintain the benefits of regulation while making it easier to do business in Nova Scotia. It involves all departments of the provincial government in creating a culture of continuous improvement that will result in simpler, more effective regulation. For more information on the Better Regulation Initiative, visit www.gov.ns.ca/betterregulation.