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.

 

Just Posted

Final key components for Johnson Street Bridge installed this weekend in Victoria

Dynamic Beast crane barge arrives back in town on Friday

Wind warning in effect for Greater Victoria

Strong winds could reach up to 80 km/hr along coastal areas

Heavy snowfall closes Mount Washington for the day

Road to ski resort deemed unsafe, “high avalanche danger”

Whisky society commits to charity donation in wake of whisky raids

Refund of Victoria Whiskey Festival tickets won’t impact charity beneficiaries

Victoria housing provider launches crisis prevention program to combat homelessness

Pacifica Housing aims to address challenges before tenants risk evictions

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

Philadelphia Eagles headed to Super Bowl

After routing the Minnesota Vikings 38-7, they will face Tom Brady and the New England Patriots

VIDEO: Dramatic video shows return of rescued B.C. snowboarders

Two snowboarders were rescued near Rossland, B.C. on Sunday after being lost overnight.

Tom Brady leads Patriots back to Super Bowl, top Jaguars 24-20

New England to face winner of Sunday night’s game between Minnesota and Philadelphia on Feb. 4

Vessel washed ashore in Campbell River during last night’s storm

A vessel appears to have gotten loose and washed to shore on… Continue reading

Liberals quietly tap experts to write new paternity leave rules

Ideas include creating an entirely new leave benefit similar to one that exists in Quebec

Insurers say Canadian weather getting hotter, wetter and weirder

Average number of days with heavy rain or snow across Canada has been outside norm since spring 2013

Final phase of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy trials to kick off in B.C.

Doctors hope to get psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy legalized in Canada and the U.S. by 2021

WHL winning streak ends at four in Kelowna for Victoria

Royals lose 8-4 as Rockets explode offensively

Most Read