NORMAN, OK – SEPTEMBER 11: The Oklahoma Sooner Schooner carries the American flag on the anniversary of September 11 at Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium on September 11, 2010 in Norman, Oklahoma. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)Conference realignment has died down a bit… for now. There will always be hypothetical situations brought up for big schools. Recently, the Pac-12 was a main focus, after a Dennis Dodd CBS Sports piece outlined some of the league’s big issues.The conference that has seemed at the highest risk of being poached, at least over the last few years, has been the Big 12. Much of that speculation centers on Oklahoma. The Sooners are one of college football’s preeminent powers, and could probably fit into any of the other Power Five leagues.A few years back, there were rumors of OU being a candidate to break off and head to the Pac-12. There’s been a ton of speculation about the SEC as well, as you’d expect.However, nothing is imminent, as far as anyone knows. The Big 12 has a grant of rights in place until 2025, so that is probably when another round would happen, as far as teams leaving is concerned.And in seven years, there is no guarantee that leaving the Big 12 would be the right move for the Sooners anyway. For The Oklahoman‘s Barry Tramel, the reason is simple: on the athletic fields, Oklahoma teams are thriving.Earlier today, Tramel argued that Oklahoma should stick around when conference realignment rears its head once again.Football is king, and OU football has made the four-team playoff twice in the last three years, and the transition from Bob Stoops to Lincoln Riley seems to have, if anything, invigorated the Big 12’s flagship program.It’s easy to make the compelling case that OU athletics are in better shape than they’ve ever been, from on-field success to financially to elite coaches on campus to administrative know-how. Heck, the Big 12’s even climbing the food chain. The Pac-12 has replaced the Big 12 as the conference that seems most shaky.Football is doing well, basketball has been in the spotlight more in recent years with stars like Buddy Hield and Trae Young, and the non-revenue sports are all thriving. For his piece, Tramel spoke to school president David Boren, in his last few weeks before retirement, who echoed similar sentiments.“I hope it’s going to be long-lasting,” OU President David Boren told me this week. “If I had to make an educated guess either way, I would guess it will be … financially we’re doing extremely well. We’re certainly thriving in the Big 12.”Like most things in college athletics, this will ultimately come down to economics. Right now, though, the Big 12 seems in a steadier place than it has in a while, and Oklahoma is largely to thank for that.[The Oklahoman]
allowing landlords to provide tenants with a copy of the Residential Tenancies Act electronically instead of paper ($826,000 savings) improving road networks and updating weight restrictions to reflect new trucking technology ($9.3 million savings) adapting the internal system for notifying businesses of licences, permits and approvals for activities under the Environment Act ($1 million savings) removing tuition and fees for technical training for apprentices often paid for by employers ($386,000 savings) introducing secure online messaging for businesses to interact with the Workers Compensation Board ($1.6 million savings) introducing the business navigator service ($3.4 million savings) reducing business incorporation fees to the lowest in the country ($402,900 savings) Businesses will save about $34 million each year because of government’s efforts to cut red tape and modernize its regulatory system over the past 18 months. The savings exceed government’s $25 million burden reduction target set in 2017 and advance government’s commitment to create a competitive business climate across the province. “It’s important for Nova Scotia to have a thriving business community and an efficient regulatory system contributes to that,” said Premier Stephen McNeil. “We are committed to continuing this work that saves businesses time and money and allows entrepreneurs to focus on their business, be more competitive and help grow our economy.” “Making it easier to start, grow and operate a business is critical in building a competitive business climate that benefits our communities both big and small,” said Matt Thomson, one of the founding partners of social enterprise Placemaking 4G, along with Bradley Daye and Lauren Sears. “As young business owners, seeing real tangible results like this is huge and something to celebrate. There is still a ton of work to be done, but the progress shown is significant.” Today, Jan. 24, the Office of Regulatory Affairs and Service Effectiveness reported the estimated costs and savings to business stemming from initiatives across government since the target was set. Some examples of savings include: “Our farm businesses and our industry has seen first-hand the benefits of government’s focus on red tape reduction,” said Victor Oulton, president of the Nova Scotia Federation of Agriculture. “Just like in farming, government needs to continually look at what it does and how it does it. It needs to continuously improve. The focus on burden reduction has resulted in improvements. This work, focus and progress needs to continue.” In addition to initiatives within government departments, Nova Scotia is working with other jurisdictions to remove interprovincial barriers to trade. In December, Premier McNeil announced action in five areas, including alcohol, business registration, occupational health and safety, transportation and technical safety. The province also has partnerships with the Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM) and with the other Atlantic provinces to better align regulatory systems to make business operation and expansion easier. Nova Scotia is being recognized nationally for its work. The Canadian Federation of Independent Business gave Nova Scotia an A grade for its work throughout 2018, up from A- last year and up from a D grade in 2015. The province was also recognized for its unique partnership with HRM as well as for reducing business incorporation fees to the lowest in the country. The report that outlines how government is achieving these results is available at https://novascotia.ca/regulatoryopportunity/report.asp .