Government cuts red tape 

The Minister of State for Deregulation presented his sixth quarterly progress report last week, outlining the progress that has been made in the government’s mission to reduce the number of provincial regulations by one third.

The Liberal government believes that the number of regulations on the books has stifled the growth and investment in business and industry in the province.

In the most recent report submitted by Kevin Falcon, the Minister of State for Deregulation, on Aug. 5, the government has eliminated 70,001 regulatory requirements since June of 2001. They have also added 13,057 regulations, giving the Ministry a net reduction of 56,944 regulations.

The deregulation has occurred within almost every government ministry, including ministries for forestry, mining and education, as well as within crown corporations such as the Liquor Distribution Branch, the B.C. Securities Commission, and the Workers’ Compensation Board.

There are currently a total of 382,139 regulatory requirements on the books in B.C., which have been reduced to 325,195. The Ministry of State for Deregulation hopes to pare that number down to approximately 260,000 by June of 2004 as part of its New Era commitments.

Significant reforms are on the way this year for the Forestry, Mining, and Energy Industries, as well as environmental regulations.

The Ministry of Community, Aboriginal and Women’s Services currently boasts the most regulations of any ministry or crown corporation with 58,448 regulations on the books. The Ministry of Finance is second with 34,675 regulations, followed by the Workers’ Compensation Board with 30,163.

The Premier’s office has the fewest with just 27 regulations on the books.

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