Government cuts red tape to streamline services for citizens and business

(L-R) MLA Marvin Hunt, Laura Jones, Naomi Yamamoto and Paul Bhogal.
(L-R) MLA Marvin Hunt, Laura Jones, Naomi Yamamoto and Paul Bhogal.

NAOMI Yamamoto, Minister of State for Tourism and Small Business, recently announced the release of the Fourth Annual Report on Regulatory Reform to highlight this year’s progress on reducing red tape and streamlining government services.

The announcement was made at Sunrise Kitchens Ltd., a successful small business that has been in operation for 31 years. The report shows how companies, like Sunrise Kitchens, benefit from B.C.’s regulatory reform leadership so they can create jobs and spark innovation.

The report provides a public accounting of the Province’s commitment to drive economic growth by reducing government red tape and regulatory burdens for citizens and businesses.

Highlights of the 2014 report include:

* Changing B.C. liquor policies to increase convenience for customers such as liquor sales in some grocery stores and a new online application for special occasion licences.

* Reducing wait times for families applying for youth mental-health services.

* Making it easier for citizens to access their personal income assistance and disability assistance information through MySelfServe, a new user-friendly online tool.

* Creating a fast and easy way for British Columbians to register to be organ donors.

* Simplifying the request for proposal form so small business owners can easily bid for government contracts.

* Producing a new online guide for prospective restauranteurs to find information about the various requirements involved in opening a restaurant.

Yamamoto said: “Since 2001, our government has worked hard to streamline services and eliminate the burden of red tape and this year’s regulatory reform report shows we’re still making progress. We’re making it easier for British Columbians to do business with government, so they can dedicate more time to improving their businesses and less time filling out paper work. And we’re helping B.C citizens by making it easier to find information and access Government’s programs and services.”

Laura Jones, Executive Vice President, Canadian Federation of Independent Business, said: “This report is one of the reasons the B.C. government receives an ‘A’ grade on CFIB’s Red Tape report card. It is one of the only governments in Canada willing to measure regulatory requirements and report the measures publicly. For small business owners, having the government reduce red tape means they can spend more time on growing their business and less time on government processes.”

Paul Bhogal, owner, Sunrise Kitchens Ltd., said: “Unnecessary paper work and red tape hinders a small business’ ability to grow and create jobs. The provincial government’s commitment to cutting red tape and to making B.C. the most small- business-friendly jurisdiction in Canada creates a positive environment for business owners, like myself, to succeed and prosper.”