MLAs debated a bill to declare Red Tape Reduction Day for the first Wednesday in March

B.C. Liberals roasted over red tape day

Spending hours of legislature time on a day to celebrate ending unnecessary procedures compared to Monty Python sketch

Opposition politicians ridiculed the B.C. Liberal government Thursday for presenting legislation to declare the first Wednesday in March Red Tape Reduction Day.

Some criticisms were comical, such as when Green Party MLA Andrew Weaver pointed out the irony of spending hours of legislature time to pass a law celebrating reduction of unnecessary procedures. Weaver quoted from outraged constituents posting protests on his Facebook page, comparing the situation to a Monty Python sketch.

Others were more sombre. NDP MLA Adrian Dix read off a lengthy list of special days that have been declared in B.C., and compared the latest addition to Holocaust Memorial Day. His colleague George Heyman reminded the government about B.C. Liberal deregulation of farm and construction labour regulations that may have contributed to deaths and injuries.

NDP MLA Carole James noted that the day could simply have been declared with a proclamation. Others suggested the bill was put before the legislature to pad out a thin agenda for the fall legislative session, or to set a trap for the NDP opposition to make them appear to be anti-business.

In the end, NDP members voted in favour of the bill to deprive the B.C. Liberals of an opportunity to paint them as being in favour of red tape. Independents Weaver and Vicki Huntington took the unusual step of voting against the bill even being admitted for debate.

The B.C. Liberal government has touted the reduction of regulations since it was first elected in 2001. Targets were set and milestones marked, starting with the appointment of former cabinet minister Kevin Falcon as a Minister of State for Red Tape Reduction.

B.C. Liberal MLA John Martin joined other government members in defending the bill. Martin said the government has changed rules to make it easier for parents to take their kids fishing, streamlined the process of registering as an organ donor, and made it legal to buy local beer and wine in some grocery stores.

B.C. Liberal MLA Mike Morris said the day will raise public awareness of unnecessary regulations and encourage people to suggest ways to streamline government procedures.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Haida Gwaii residents to be allowed conditional entry to Gwaii Haanas next month

Gwaii Haanas will reopen Aug. 1 to people who ‘attest to a set of specific conditions’ set out by CHN

Following incident at sea, fishing lodge says it will reopen despite Haida travel ban

QCL reopens July 10, says president; Haida chief councillor describes ‘dangerous’ boating encounter

More than $1.2 million announced for Masset water treatment plant upgrades

Residents of Masset, Old Massett to benefit from $1,241,500 in joint provincial-federal funding

From the archives of the Haida Gwaii Observer

50 YEARS AGO (1970): Highways Minister Wesley Black visited the islands and… Continue reading

On the Wing: Interpretation of the natural world

By Margo Hearne It’s summer on Haida Gwaii. A quieter time for… Continue reading

B.C. records 31 new cases, six deaths over three days due to COVID-19

There are 166 active cases in B.C., 16 people in hospital

ICBC to resume road tests in July with priority for rebookings, health-care workers

Tests have been on hold for four months due to COVID-19

Urge travellers to follow COVID-19 rules in a ‘gentle way’: B.C.’s top doctor

Cases surging in the U.S. have B.C. officials hoping the border stays shut all summer

96-year-old woman scales B.C. butte with help of family, friends

‘I did as I was told and I enjoyed every minute of it’

Parallel crises: How COVID-19 exacerbated B.C.’s drug overdose emergency

Part 1: Officials say isolation, toxic drug supply, CERB, contributing to crisis

Canadians with disabilities disproportionately hit by COVID-19 pandemic

More than four out of 10 British Columbians aged 70 and up have various disabilities

Camping offers a great pandemic escape, for less money than you might think

But for many first-timers, knowing what to bring can be a challenge

Turbulence in Canadian opinion on airlines COVID-19 response: poll

Thousands of people have beseeched Transport Minister Marc Garneau to compel airlines to issue refunds,

Most Read