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

Just Posted

Abbotsford playgrounds to re-open Monday

City urges public to bring hand-sanitizer and maintain physical distancing

Police watchdog investigating after man injured during Abbotsford standoff

Man seriously injured during arrest on May 21 at Abbotsford hotel room

New executive director for Fraser Valley Child Development Centre

Karen Dickenson Smith succeeds Karen McLean, who has retired after 22 years

Annual Walk for Alzheimer’s goes online on May 31

Event held every year in Abbotsford now raising funds through virtual event

UPDATE: Man from Mexico reported missing in Abbotsford has been located

Police report that Antonio Fernandez, 29, has been found safe and sound

Only four new COVID-19 cases, 228 active across B.C.

Health officials watching as activities ramp up

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

New platform allows readers to make a one-time or ongoing donation to support local journalism

Feds looking at ways to reunite families amid COVID-19 border restrictions with U.S.

Some families with members of dual-citizenship have become separated due to the pandemic

‘I knew what he wanted’: Kootenay man spends hours in tree as black bear patrols below

Francis Levasseur is no stranger to the outdoors, but a recent run-in with a bear caused quite a scare

COVID cancelled their wedding plans, so they married on a BC mountaintop

Ceremony was live streamed to friends and family around the world

Trudeau acknowledges racial unrest in U.S.; ‘We also have work to do in Canada’

‘Anti-black racism, racism, is real; it’s in the United States, but it’s also in Canada,’ Trudeau says

State of Local Emergency declared for Boundary as communities brace for river flooding

Warm weather and heavy rain could cause sections of Kettle River system to swell beyond 2018 levels

Large cruise ships barred from Canadian waters until end of October: Garneau

Last year 140 cruise ships brought more than two million visitors to Canadian ports

Minneapolis cop who knelt on man’s neck charged with murder

Arrest comes after three days of protests, which escalated in violence as demonstrators torched a police precinct

Most Read