"Investors have been saying loud and clear for years that Alberta is increasingly an unattractive jurisdiction for investment because of needless and costly red tape," said senior fellow and author of ‘Natural Resource Regulation in Alberta' Kenneth Green.
The study found that Alberta's investment attractiveness had diminished in the eyes of oil, gas and mining executives, mainly owing to the province's increasing regulatory burden.
For example, in 2013, 32% of respondents to the Fraser Institute's annual Global Petroleum Survey said environmental regulations were a deterrent to investment compared to 68% in 2017, the latest year of comparable data.
Similarly, the costs of complying with provincial regulations deterred investment for 32% of respondents in 2013, compared to a staggering 70% in 2017. Critically, also in 2017, only 9% identified compliance costs as a deterrent in Texas and 24% in North Dakota.
Another Fraser study published on Tuesday, ‘Strategies for Deregulation: Concepts and Evidence', outlined how other jurisdictions, found that for example British Columbia in 2001 and the federal government in 2015, successfully reduced outdated regulations.
According to the study, best practices include specifically tasking an independent agency or government department to reduce regulations; requiring a net reduction of existing regulations, commonly with a one-for-one rule that requires any new regulation be offset by the elimination of another outdated regulation; and consultation with the public and stakeholder groups to identify regulations for elimination.
"Reducing the province's regulatory burden would help attract much-needed investment, spur economic growth and improve living standards for Albertans," said senior fellow and author Steven Globerman.