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Our approach

Cut Red Tape
Mayor Nenshi and Alderman Demong cutting red tape

In 2010, Council created the Cut Red Tape program to reduce red tape at The City of Calgary. The focus of the program is to remove red tape and make changes that result in our citizens and businesses seeing visible improvements. Some of these may be small, constant irritants and others may be larger, fundamental issues in regulations or business processes. The aim is to shift our culture from a regulator perspective to a facilitator. The program has been supported by Council and funded through approved applications to the Council's Innovation Fund on a project-by-project basis.


To begin, a task force was created to conduct research and interviews with many other governments in North America and internationally. Through this research it was clear that many approaches have been taken to address red tape, each with their own advantages and challenges. Based on this research, it was determined that the key components of a successful red tape program were to engage, act, measure and address how to reduce red tape into the future.


In order to understand where cut red tape existed at The City of Calgary, we engaged those who have experienced it firsthand:


After receiving more than 585 ideas to cut red tape, all of these valuable ideas were reviewed, categorized, evaluated and grouped to identify the ones that were most achievable and effective. We focused on those that were most frustrating for citizens and businesses and would provide the greatest impact to our customers in order to deliver quick wins. We worked with Administration to implement solutions to those cut red tape initiatives selected.


As red tape has been removed, we have gathered information on the time and money savings along the way. Learn more about our total cost savings and where we've cut red tape.

The remaining feasible cut red tape ideas were shared with relevant business areas to be included in future business plans.

Program Transition

Learn more about the program transition for the Cut Red Tape program.