Re: "Three cheers for red tape," Jan. 24 Chilliwack Times.
I'd like to take this opportunity to help clarify for Paul J. Henderson the definition of red tape, as he stated in his column that it is almost never explained.
Red tape is defined by most governments engaged in reducing it as well as most business, as burdensome, often unnecessary, government administrative processes and regulatory requirements that pull small business owners away from growing their business, and leave them spending time on redundant, pointless and/or complicated paperwork.
It is important to understand that red tape is not always the result of regulations. It is often the little things, like an overly complex form or information that is too technical and difficult to understand that frustrates businesses and causes delays and misinterpretation that can be costly to business.
Mr. Henderson makes a valid point that, yes, regulations are necessary to enforce the health, safety and quality standards that we all expect in B.C. But to imply that businesses find payroll tax, income tax, records of employment or Statistics Canada surveys unnecessary is disingenuous and misrepresents their concerns. What they are saying is that, when trying to comply with these requirements, they face overly-complicated, duplicated rules, and this places a back-breaking burden on business, and especially small businesses.
I am proud to be part of a government whose premier is committed to reducing the regulatory burden and red tape that strangles the growth and development of our resource sector. It is because of B.C.'s commitment to cutting red tape that we are able to attract billions in investments from around the world, and the reason that the Canadian Federation of Independent Business has awarded B.C. an "A" for its regulatory reform initiatives-the only province to receive an "A" and our second year to receive it.
During the 1990s, the number of regulations in BC rose by an average of 400 per year. By 2001, there were over 400,000 regulations in B.C., which cost industry billions to comply with and the province millions of dollars to manage.
The B.C. government understands the crippling impacts of duplicative and onerous regulations on business and is committed to reducing those burdens. Since 2001, more than 150,000 regulatory requirements have been cut, a 42 per cent reduction, and we have committed to holding that line through 2015.
Naomi Yamamoto Minister of State for Small Business