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

VIDEO: This is what buying legal pot in B.C. looks like

Take a look inside B.C.’s first and only legal pot shop located in Kamloops

‘Police are ready’ for legal pot, say Canadian chiefs

But Canadians won’t see major policing changes as pot becomes legal

10 things still illegal in the new age of recreational cannabis

Pot is legal – but there are still a lot of rules, and breaking some could leave you in jail

COLUMN: Meet Todd Coyne, our new editor

Todd Coyne takes charge of five Black Press newspapers in the West Kootenay

Denesiuk announced as Liberal nominee for South Okanagan-West Kootenay

Connie Denesiuk ran for the first time in 2015, losing to current MP Cannings

Mellow opening to B.C.’s only legal pot shop

About five people lined up early for the opening of the BC Cannabis Store in Kamloops.

Jagmeet Singh says marijuana pardons are not enough

Trudeau government will streamline pardon process for Canadians convicted of simple possession of marijuana in the past

BC Ferries begins taking debit in two-month pilot project

Company is giving customers option to use Interac on two-month trial on select vessels

Caregivers banned from smoking, growing cannabis around children-in-care: MCFD

Ministry has limited cannabis use for caregivers, stating it may “pose a risk to children and youth.”

Cheaper strains sell out within minutes on online BC Cannabis Store

Province says new strains will become available in the coming months

Only 40% of B.C. car dealerships have electric cars available: report

Researchers found buyers frustrated at the lack of options

VIDEO: Millionaire Lottery returns to give back and win big

Since 1996, Millionaire Lottery has raised $52 million for the VGH+UBC Hospital Foundation

Test case challenges a politician’s right to block people from Twitter account

3 people say Watson infringed their constitutional right to freedom of expression by blocking them

‘A little odd’ B.C.’s biggest city celebrates cannabis without a legal store

On the streets of downtown Vancouver, notably the Wild West of illegal marijuana, not a single legal store opened Wednesday, making for a rather anticlimatic kick-off

Most Read