01/28/2014 02:13 EST | Updated 03/30/2014 05:59 EDT

New Brunswick making 20 per cent cut in number of provincial regulations

FREDERICTON - The New Brunswick government plans to reduce the province's 53,000 regulations by 20 per cent in an effort to reduce the burden on businesses.

Economic Development Minister Bruce Fitch says small businesses are spending time doing paperwork and complying with regulations that could be better spent on growing their businesses.

Among the changes, Fitch says convenience store owners will now remit taxes and returns on propane sales annually rather than monthly.

The changes are welcomed by Richard Dunn, director of provincial affairs for the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, who says reducing red tape will contribute to the success of small business owners.

The review of the regulations, which began two years ago, also found antiquated regulations such as a rule that outlawed swearing at a horse at a county fair.

Another regulation governed the hours that encyclopedias could be sold door-to-door.

Fitch says the government will not remove or weaken regulations for the protection of New Brunswickers such as those dealing with oil and gas exploration.