B.C. only province to receive ‘A’ grade for cutting red tape

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THE Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) has released its annual report card grading provinces on their efforts to cut red tape, and British Columbia is the only province to be given an ‘A’ rating – for the third year in a row.

This week the B.C. government also announced five priority projects to further cut red tape this year. Red tape is not always the result of regulations, and can often include overly complex forms or technical information that is difficult to understand. After working with CFIB and consulting with small businesses, five projects have been identified to further reduce red tape in British Columbia:

* Procurement for Small Business: a simplified two-page form for request for proposals to make it easier for small businesses to do business with government on opportunities less than $250,000.

* “How to Start a Restaurant in B.C.”: develop an online roadmap that clearly explains to entrepreneurs how to start up and operate a restaurant in B.C. This project will also involve research to find ways to reduce the time a restaurant spends interacting with government.

* Regulatory Reform Refresh: a commitment to develop a plan to refresh the way government is tackling regulatory reform to ensure B.C. remains a national and global leader in minimizing regulatory burden and cutting red tape.

* Citizen Centred Web Services: a commitment to deliver information and programs in a way that is open and transparent, allowing citizens to engage in making informed decisions and ensuring first-rate access to services.

* WorkSafeBC Strategy: A WorkSafeBC-led project to simplify registration documents and make improvements to their website to reduce complexity and clarify requirements for small businesses.

B.C. leads the country in cutting red tape, as it is the first province to enshrine in law the requirement to publish annual reports about progress made on regulatory reform. Since 2001, government has reduced regulatory requirements by over 42 per cent.

Minister of State for Tourism and Small Business Naomi Yamamoto said: “The B.C. government is proud to be recognized by CFIB as a leader in cutting red tape by awarding us with an ‘A’ grade – for the third year in a row. Red tape costs small businesses time and money – that’s why we’re pumping up our fight against red tape.

“Our new top five priority projects will help clear the path so small business can focus on what matters – growing their business and creating jobs.”

Minister of Technology, Innovation and Citizen Services Andrew Wilkinson said: “Finding ways to cut red tape and streamline processes requires ongoing efforts. My ministry is doing our part to reduce red tape by simplifying the procurement process for small businesses and enhancing government’s online presence to make it easier for people and businesses to find information online.”

CFIB Executive Vice President Laura Jones said: “Red tape reform has a simple formula: Measure, report, repeat. You can’t get where you’re going if you don’t know where you are. The British Columbia government has committed to doing this, and they are showing the rest of Canada how it is done.”

President and CEO of BC Restaurant and Food Services Association Ian Tostensen said: “Our industry is proud to work with the B.C. government to reduce red tape and regulation in our very regulated industry. This will give existing business owners more time to grow their sales and give new owners a quicker way to enter the industry.”

Find out more about regulatory reform in B.C. at:

www.gov.bc.ca/regulatoryreform

To see CFIB’s complete Provincial Red Tape Report Card, visit:

http://www.cfib-fcei.ca/english/index.html