Backgrounder – Legislating the One-for-One Rule

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On January 29, 2014, the Government of Canada introduced the Red Tape Reduction Act in Parliament to control the administrative burden that regulations impose on business.  The Act received Royal Assent on April 23, 2015, which  fulfills a commitment made in the Government's October 2012 Red Tape Reduction Action Plan and reaffirmed in the October 2013 Speech from the Throne.

The One-for-One Rule, which came into effect on April 1, 2012, places strict controls on the growth of regulatory red tape on business. Under the One-for-One Rule, for every new regulation added that imposes an administrative burden on business, one must be removed.

The One-for-One Rule is one of six systemic reforms under the Red Tape Reduction Action Plan. The Action Plan committed to reducing regulatory burden on Canadians and businesses, making it easier to do business with regulators and improving service and predictability in the federal regulatory system.


  • The Red Tape Reduction Act helps to permanently control federal regulatory red tape.
  • During its first two years of implementation, the One-for-One Rule provided a successful, system-wide control on regulatory red tape impacting business.
  • Between 2012 and June 2014, under the One-for-One Rule, the Government has reduced the net annual administrative burden on business by over $22 million, resulting in an estimated annual savings of 290,000 hours in time spent dealing with regulatory red tape, and has achieved a net reduction of 19 regulations taken off the books.
  • Canada is now the first country in the world to legislate the One-for-One Rule to control regulatory red tape.