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BC Liberal LNG plans are a train wreck so let’s talk red tape reduction!

Today in the legislature we concluded the debate on the absurd Bill 34 – Red Tape Reduction Day Act. As I noted earlier, the sole purpose of the two-line Bill is to enshrine in law that in British Columbia, the first Wednesday in March would be declared Red Tape Reduction Day.

In British Columbia’s history there have been only five other Bills that legislated the dedication of a particular day. These are:

  1. British Columbia Day Act [1996]
  2. Douglas Day Act [1996]
  3. Holocaust Memorial Day Act [2000]
  4. Family Day Act [2012]
  5. Terry Fox Day Act [2014]

These dates correspond to either public holidays or profound events or individuals in our history. The normal process for government to recognize an event or occasion is through proclamation. In fact, there have been 148 such proclamations this year alone. Ironically, January 19-23 of this year was already proclaimed Red Tape Awareness Week. 2014 saw 165 such proclamations made by the Ministry of Justice.

Not only is Bill 34 a ridiculous waste of civil servant time and taxpayer money, but it also devalues the importance of other days that have previously legislated designations.

It has become apparent that the government now recognizes that its outrageous promises regarding a hypothetical LNG industry will not materialize. As I’ve been pointing out now for more than two years on this site and almost three years elsewhere, LNG was never going to be an economic reality in British Columbia any time soon. The BC Liberals misled British Columbians in the lead up to the last election campaign with outlandish and totally unrealistic promises. They threw a Hail Mary pass of hope, spinning in hyperbole, in a desperate attempt to win an election that no one thought they could win. Well that pass was caught, and they subsequently struggled to deliver the impossible.

The BC Liberals were given a mandate to deliver on a promise. They didn’t and they won’t. While the government will attempt to deflect blame on market prices, external pressures, third parties and so forth, the reality is that even despite their generational sell out exemplified in the Liquefied Natural Gas Income Tax Act, ironically supported by the official opposition, the government has failed to deliver as I pointed out it would because it couldn’t. And at the same time as I pointed out the folly of them chasing a pot of gold at the end of the LNG rainbow, I offered the BC Liberals an alternate vision of hope for the future — a vision of a diversified, sustainable, 21st century economy.

As we start to get closer to the 2017 election, the BC Liberals will attempt to rebrand themselves as the party of small business in an attempt to divert attention away from their colossal LNG failure. But it’s too late.

Below I reproduce the video and text of my brief closing remarks on this bill. The speech is only 1 minute 39 seconds long and I would recommend watching it if it’s the only thing you watch/read further. The Honourable Coralee Oakes, Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction, did not stand to respond to the question that I posed at the end. Adrian Dix (NDP MLA for Vancouver-Kingsway) and George Heyman (NDP MLA for Vancouver-Fairview) subsequently rose to press her further on this, yet satisfactory answers were never received.

I also reproduce a longer debate that I had with the Minister. I was appalled at the Minister’s justification and rationale for introducing the Red Tape Reduction Day Act. In this extended discussion you will see that I proposed two amendments. The first was to move the date to April 1st; the second was to tie it to the fixed election date since as I noted, in my view, the most efficient way of reducing red tape would be to vote out the government that brought in all the red tape in the first place.

Every NDP MLA who spoke at committee stage did so passionately, articulately, and forcefully against Bill 34. They argued vehemently that the Bill devalued the importance of the other five legislated days mentioned above.  Yet in the end, only Vicki Huntington (Independent MLA for Delta South) and I voted against the Bill at third reading (see below). This demonstrates yet another of example of the BC NDP saying one thing then voting against everything they believe in. I simply cannot understand how you could argue against a Bill then vote for it. Their approach was unprincipled and defies logic.


The Vote


VoteRed


Summary Video



Summary Text


A. Weaver: I do have a final question on section 1. But before I start, I would like to address that comment, because it is relevant.

Frankly, this government does not have a vision. The vision they sold British Columbians on was one of wealth and prosperity for one and all from a vibrant LNG industry, this pot of gold at the end of the rainbow that they are continually chasing. The reality is this misled British Columbians because it was never in the cards because the economic reality was LNG was not coming to British Columbia soon or anytime soon.

So in a desperate attempt to divert British Columbians’ attention away from their disastrous policies — yes, disastrous policies — on LNG, they bring us red-tape-reduction day. And in doing so, they’re trying to repurpose their campaign for 2017 to try to rebrand themselves as the party of small business. But they are not the party of small business. A party of small business would not throw small business under the bus and, in a desperate attempt to try to bring LNG here, send a signal to the clean-tech sector that they’re not welcome in B.C. — desperately trying to bring them back.

This is a cynical bill. It is a bill that will do nothing for the betterment of British Columbia. My question to the minister is this. It’s a question that is also in the mind of the member for Delta South. How much money is the government going to waste, of the B.C. taxpayers, to promote this bill, to create staff to administer it, to actually promote this day across schools? How much money and how much red tape is being introduced in B.C. through the passage of this bill?


Committee Stage Debate Text


A. Weaver: I have a number of questions. The first couple will build upon some of the earlier questions, and I want to follow up with that.

The minister, in response to the member for Delta South, suggested that in the first reading of the bill, the issue and notion of consultation were raised. I’d like to correct the public record on that and ask the minister further on that. In the first reading, which I have before me, it says:

“I am pleased to introduce Bill 34, the Red Tape Reduction Day Act for 2015. Bill 34 introduces a commitment by our government to host an honorary day devoted to reducing red tape through regulatory reform and the repeal of outdated or unnecessary regulatory requirements on the first Wednesday of March of each year. This legislation institutionalizes accountability and transparency of regulatory reform. It demonstrates our government’s commitment to ongoing…commitment to reduce the red-tape burden imposed on citizens and small businesses.

“Since 2001, we have reduced regulatory requirements by over 43 percent. Bill 34 will impose on government a requirement to reduce red tape and demonstrate its continued commitment to regulatory reform on the first Wednesday in March of each year. Reducing the regulatory burden on citizens and small businesses is critical to ensuring British Columbia’s economic competitiveness and providing all citizens with easy access to government services and programs.”

There is no mention of any consultation in first reading.

May I ask the minister if she will correct the record — agree with this for the Hansard record?

Hon. C. Oakes: Thank you. I actually meant second reading. My apologies.

A. Weaver: Another thing the minister said, which I think is very telling. As a direct quote, the minister — in response to, I believe, the member for Vancouver-Kingsway — said this:

This act, this Red Tape Reduction Act, is a significant piece in ensuring that we are citizen-centred, that we’re providing an environment that improves efficiencies and processes, and it ensures that by making it an act that the reduction of red tape and our commitment to net zero, commitment to 2019, is maintained.

Now, there are two questions that come from that. The first question is…. The minister refers to “Red Tape Reduction Act.” As far as I can tell, there is no red-tape-reduction act before us. My first question to the minister is: are we to expect a red-tape-reduction act in light of her comment earlier in the discussion today?

Hon. C. Oakes: I dropped the word “day,” obviously, in that statement. Thank you for allowing me to correct that in Hansard.

A. Weaver: My second question on this statement, then, is: what does the minister mean when she refers to “our commitment to net zero”? Is this a commitment to: if you add a regulation, you must remove a regulation? Could the minister please expand upon this?

Hon. C. Oakes: We made that commitment publicly, on a net zero to 2019. We report out on that in our annual report Achieving a Modern Regulatory Environment, which we put out each year.

A. Weaver: If ever there was proof that there’s nothing liberal about the B.C. Liberals…. I would refer members to the Statutes of Canada, chapter 12, assented to on the 23rd of April, 2015, wherein the Harper Tory government introduced a bill. This bill was entitled as follows: the Red Tape Reduction Act.

Now, the federal government made a big deal of this Red Tape Reduction Act, wherein it legislated, as a matter of law, that the requirement to add one regulation must be met with removing one of similar magnitude. That didn’t serve them very well, did it?

It’s a glorious day to be talking about the red-tape-reduction day here in the Legislature. We saw what happened when the public turned against a government that became cynical towards the people it represents. Here we have the same thing manifesting itself right before us: this government proposing Red Tape Reduction Day Act.

My question, then. Who in the general public has the ministry actually consulted, with respect to people — not organizations, the one organization that was quoted — individual people? I have heard, literally, from scores of constituents who are absolutely offended by the introduction of this bill. Who has the government consulted in preparation of the bill before us?

Hon. C. Oakes: The member opposite had a few questions in that. I will start. He asked the question of who we’ve heard from. Survey after survey of small businesses continue to say that red tape is top concern and express frustrations that governments are not taking the problem seriously enough.

To the second part. This government is committed to ensuring that we have citizen engagement. That is why, if you look at the citizen engagement process that led up to the liquor changes, the liquor reform included more than 40 meetings and 2,000 stakeholder e-mails. There was a significant level, by our government, to ensure that we had citizen engagement.

We had citizen engagement on the distracted driving, engagement with citizens of British Columbia. We engaged with citizens on the ten-year transportation plan — the ten-year British Columbia on the Move.

In the same respect, red-tape reduction for real people will ensure that we are doing citizen engagement across the province of British Columbia, with the commitment to ensure that we maintain focus on what we have heard is significantly important for British Columbians.

Further, we have, as we’ve mentioned earlier, a process in place where we will be capturing a number of questions from citizens throughout British Columbia. We’ll have a formal process to put that information out to the public so that members on both sides of the House can read what citizens are saying throughout British Columbia. Then there will be the opportunity, through the Red Tape Reduction Day Act, to ensure that government is accountable.

A. Weaver: I take that answer as nobody is being consulted. Clearly, we’re not talking about liquor regulations here. We’re talking about the Red Tape Reduction Day Act. We’re not talking about distracted driving. We’re talking about the Red Tape Reduction Day Act.

We’re not talking about these other acts that the minister referred to, and we’re not talking about reducing red tape. Every single person on this side of the House, the independents and the official opposition, would agree that red tape that exists for the sake of existing should be reduced.

However, we’re discussing why this act came to be. The only answer, for the record, based on this response and previous responses, is that not a single individual person in British Columbia was consulted. It was dreamed up as gimmick, a cynical gimmick, in back rooms.

Now I’ll come back to another specific question. The member for Surrey-Whalley introduced a private member’s bill called the Ukrainian Famine and Genocide (“Holodomor”) Memorial Day Act. Now, that bill was personal to me, because as I spoke, when Holodomor was recognized in this Legislature, I discussed my family’s history, my family who grew up and lived through Stalin’s collectivization of farms. Yet this act was not even brought through first reading to second reading to discuss.

We are debating the Red Tape Reduction Day Act, and we are not even willing, in this Legislature, to debate the Ukrainian Famine and Genocide (“Holodomor”) Memorial Day Act. What message is this government sending to the Ukrainian community in British Columbia? Let me tell you what message this is. This is a message that you don’t matter, but red-tape reduction matters.

My question to the minister is: will she encourage her cabinet colleagues to bring the Ukrainian Famine and Genocide Act forward subsequent to this bill?

Hon. C. Oakes: The member opposite knows that that is just untrue. The member opposite knows that it’s not an either-or. This is a piece of legislation that we are bringing forward to ensure that we have a focus, a focus on ensuring that we are reducing unnecessary burdens and red tape.

The member is also untrue when the member said that we did not talk to people. I would like to know if the member opposite thinks that small businesses aren’t people. The last I looked, small business owners have a right to communicate with government. Small business owners are individuals that are important.

We heard from the B.C. Chamber of Commerce. We heard from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business. We heard from the Coalition of B.C. Businesses that this was important. We heard from small business owners on the front lines of dealing with everything from dumb rules to lacklustre government service.

The simple fact that the provincial government is open to hearing some of these issues firsthand through their new public engagement strategy on red tape is a great way to kick off Small Business Month.

Members on both sides of the House were at our rotunda to celebrate the importance of small businesses in British Columbia. I expect that members on both sides of the House…. We have heard them say before that small businesses are, in fact, important in British Columbia. They have said that reducing red tape was critically important to ensuring that they are successful.

We are listening. We are going to continue the important consultation that we have committed to, not just for small businesses. We are going to commit to ensuring that this engagement process is cross ministries. We are ensuring that in every single minister’s mandate letter, there is a responsibility to take action on what we have heard from citizens throughout British Columbia, and we’ll be showcasing that on red-tape-reduction day, the first Wednesday of March.

A. Weaver: Wow. It may come as a surprise to realize that I didn’t think that businesses were people. In fact, businesses are businesses, and people are people. Businesses don’t vote; people vote. People are the ones who elect governments — not businesses, not unions. So clearly, no people were contacted with respect to this bill.

Coming back to the question of small business, this side of the House is very supportive of small business. But the actions matter. Gimmicks don’t. Red-tape-reduction day is not helping small business. As the member for Burnaby–Deer Lake pointed out, it’s actually creating red tape, ironically. The fact that we’re debating this, ironically, is creating more red tape.

As a final thing on this topic, I’d like to correct the record again. The evidence is very clear. The minister said that it’s not either-or. The evidence is clear. The member for Surrey-Whalley put forward a private member’s bill, which is on our order papers. That private member’s bill was the Ukrainian Famine and Genocide (“Holodomor”) Memorial Day Act. That bill was never brought to this Legislature for discussion. That is a fact. Anybody can go to Hansard to check it.

The Red Tape Reduction Day Act — we’re discussing it now at committee stage. The facts are clear. This government cares more about its cynical, small business apparent…. It’s actually not. It’s increasing red tape. It’s caring more about a gimmick — it’s not about reducing red tape — than the actual issues out there that matter to British Columbians.

My question to the minister again is this: have you discussed with the Ukrainian community of British Columbia with respect to whether or not they support your act here to create red-tape-reduction day and not even bring for discussion the Holodomor act that the member for Surrey-Whalley brought forward?

Hon. C. Oakes: Again, the member opposite knows full well it’s not an either-or, that this is about introducing a focal point of our government that we’ve heard from citizens across British Columbia is important. It makes sense to have a specific day for the people of British Columbia to reflect on progress being made by their government on clearing out unnecessary rules, sweeping away old and cumbersome regulations and ensuring that red tape doesn’t clutter the environment for small business.

Small businesses — survey after survey after survey — have identified that red tape is a concern and a frustration to them if governments do not take it seriously. Complying with rules and regulations — and the member opposite talked about the federal approach to red-tape reduction — cost Canadian businesses of all sizes $37 billion in 2014, including $5.2 billion in British Columbia. Small business owners believe that the regulatory burden could be reduced by about 30 percent, for an annual savings to the economy of $11 billion.

I would suggest to British Columbians that reducing unnecessary red tape and burdens and ensuring that we are creating a competitive environment for small businesses is important to British Columbians, while enhancing the process that we are doing to engage with British Columbians across ministries to ensure that the success we’ve had with small businesses — that support — can be engaged through citizen engagement, through ministries across government.

A. Weaver: Well, of course. We all agree with that. But this bill is not reducing red tape. We’re not discussing reducing red tape. We’re discussing legalizing a day in March that is known as red-tape-reduction day. That’s what we’re discussing, and we’re discussing section 1 here.

Which brings me to an obvious question that I’m surprised has not been asked yet by the official opposition. Why was the first Wednesday in March chosen as the date? Why are we choosing that date?

Hon. C. Oakes: We wanted to ensure that the day that was selected was one that coincided with the Legislature being in session so that any outdated regulation or repeal of regulation could be included in the reconciliation count database. We do a reconciliation on a fiscal year basis, which ends March 31.

A. Weaver: Well, it’s the appropriate time that I bring forward and move the amendment which I have on the order papers on notice, that I amend this section 1 as follows:

 [SECTION 1, by deleting the text shown as struck out and adding the text shown as underlined:

Red Tape Reduction Day

1 The First Wednesday in March is April 1st is Red Tape Reduction Day]

This has been on the order papers for a while, and I’ll give an explanation as to why, once you grant me permission to do so.


Debate on the amendment.


A. Weaver: On the amendment, the rationale is twofold — well, threefold. The rationale is threefold.

First, in the spirit of this legislation I’m reducing three words in the bill — three words are being reduced. So now it is “April 1st is Red Tape Reduction Day,” as opposed to the first day in March is red-tape-reduction day. So the government should like this. We’re reducing some red tape.

Secondly, unlike the government, I’ve talked to people. I will quote a person who actually supports me in this. His name is Lawrie McFarlane. He wrote an editorial in the Times Colonist, and in this editorial, he outlined numerous pieces of red tape that have actually grown under this government’s watch — numerous pieces. I won’t have the time to read them all, but he does end his argument — it was done last week — with the following words: “If the Premier must persist in this ridiculous celebration, April Fools’ Day would be a better choice.”

 I have actually quoted a person, a real person. The government has just cynically brought this bill forward in some back room trying to trumpet its own successes. And not only that. I must quote this one example. The one example that this person raises which justifies bringing this to April Fools’ Day is as follows: “And the list of fineable traffic infractions has been expanded to such an extent (I count 132) that you’ve broken the law before you get out of your driveway in the morning. Do we, for instance, really need an $81 fine for driving over a fire hose?”

I could go on and on here. So the rationale for this amendment is first, it saves red tape. Second, I’m actually quoting people. I have people who’ve supported me on this, including emails and Facebook posts that I’ve read.

Third, it sends a message to the government that this side of the House is, frankly, disturbed by this cynical bill, this bill that puts red-tape reduction on the same level as Terry Fox Day, B.C. Day, Family Day, Holocaust Memorial Day — the same level we have red-tape-reduction day. We’re going to have kids in schools standing up and taking a moment of silence for it and now put in the curriculum modules to talk about red-tape-reduction day. Shall we re-engineer our education system for red-tape-reduction day as well?

It’s remarkable. This bill is a joke. It should be treated as a joke, and so I move that the date be put to April 1 instead of the first Wednesday in March.

Hon. C. Oakes: Well, it is no joke to small businesses in British Columbia, the value of red tape reduction. And if the hon. member opposite wants to actually listen, perhaps he should go out and listen to small businesses.

To the member opposite: are you suggesting, with your brilliant idea of April 1, that we now meet Fridays? Is that what your suggestion is? We chose this day to ensure that we had the ability that it reflect that if there were legislative repeals or reconciliation, that they would be able to be accommodated before the end of the fiscal year.

Small businesses are critically important to us, as are citizens across British Columbia. We remain committed to listening to them. We remain committed to understanding their value, their significance in this province, and this is a piece of legislation that will support them in their success.

H. Bains: I would like to speak on this amendment. As much as I sat here and looked at this bill and how we are making a mockery of this democratic system and of this House’s time, this amendment also doesn’t do justice to all those important days that we have declared previously — B.C. Day, Terry Fox Day, Holocaust Memorial Day. Those are important days. To have this bill on April 1, on April Fools’ Day — first of all, it does not match, even come close to, the importance that we have given to those very, very important days.

And this bill itself doesn’t do anything. It’s a waste of everybody’s time. It does not do anything to reduce red tape. We talked about it before. Speaker after speaker said that this bill had nothing to do with reducing red tape. But having an amendment to have a day declared on April Fools’ Day — I think it clearly diminishes the importance of declaring all those important days that we have declared previously. So I must speak against that amendment.

Again, failing having any definition…. I looked at a number of bills here, and in every bill — a new bill that was brought in — there’s a definition to everything that goes into the bill to define what that is. The minister stood up and read something from the annual report — that that’s supposed to be the definition. Why isn’t a definition included in this bill? It just does not make sense.

We were brought into this House, rushed in, brought earlier, changed the whole calendar. We thought there would be some important business to do here. What did we do? None of the important issues are before us, and now we’re talking about an amendment to this Red Tape Reduction Day Act. I just don’t think it does any justice or that the importance that this House has given to all those important days that are declared prior — that we match this one somehow. Also, to do it on April Fools’ Day does not make sense, so I, with respect, must disagree with the mover.

I think those days are so important that we should not turn this into a joke. I think that this bill itself is a joke, in my view, but it should not sit along with all those important days that we have already declared.

A. Weaver: I’d like to speak on the follow-up there. I accept the arguments from Surrey-Newton, and I respect those arguments. I agree with those arguments that the amendment will not actually do justice to the day. My concern, of course, is that this bill is going to be brought through by a government that’s going to vote it through, despite the fact that we’ve had some….

Well, we haven’t actually had opposition to it. At second reading, the opposition voted for it. I don’t quite understand it, but the fact is that this bill is going to get put through. I do accept that, but I will still leave it on here as just a statement, because I do think that this is telling government that this is not what people of British Columbia want.

This is not about small business. There is only one provincial party in the province that’s actually looking after the interests of small business. It is the B.C. Green Party. To say we’re not concerned about small business, when we run a series of articles celebrating small business….

Interjection.

A. Weaver: Oh, I’m joking about that. The member for Saanich South is concerned about my statement about the only party. The reality is that the statements are so ludicrous that it’s implying that because we don’t support red-tape-reduction day, somehow we’re against small business. It makes no sense. So I rest with this on the amendment, and I certainly hope government will support in recognizing that this bill need not pass.

If it does pass, it is considered a joke. It’s considered a joke by all of the pundits out there. It’s considered a joke by the people that I’ve spoken to. It’s considered a joke by the small business owners that I have spoken to. The only people who don’t think it’s a joke is this government. It’s shocking.

Interjections.

The Chair: Order. Order.

V. Huntington: I think what the debate going on across the floor here was all about was whether or not we’ve spoken to our small business community about red tape. Yes, I think we’ve all spoken to our business community about the need to reduce red tape. That’s what we’ve been saying on this side of the House for days and days, ever since this silly piece of legislation was introduced.

Reducing red tape does not mean that you have to proclaim by statute a red-tape-reduction day. When I spoke to this bill at second reading, I called it an insult to our democratic institutions and to the people of this province.

The Chair: Member, on the amendment.

V. Huntington: On the amendment.

It’s an insult to suggest that a legislated or even proclaimed red-tape-reduction day would do anything to reduce red tape, no matter what day of the year it falls on. And it’s a further insult to enact a day as puerile as this when, as the member for Vancouver-Kingsway said, it is given a precedence over recognitions like Terry Fox Day or Holocaust Memorial Day.

This bill is an embarrassing waste of our time, and I’m afraid my colleague from Oak Bay–Gordon Head may be giving this legislation a little more attention than it deserves. But I believe that his amendment is a supportable one, and I will be joining him in treating this bill with the disrespect that it deserves.

The Chair: Seeing no further speakers for the amendment, I’ll put the question.

Amendment negatived.


Debate Resumes on Bill.


A. Weaver: I was concerned that in fact this would fail, so I did provide the Clerk with a proposed additional amendment. I move as follows:

[In Section 1 by deleting text shown as struck out and adding the text shown as underlined:

Red Tape Reduction Day

1 The first Wednesday in March is The second Tuesday in May in the fourth calendar year following the general voting day for the most recently held general election is Red Tape Reduction Day.]


Debate on the amendment.


A. Weaver: The reason why I’m proposing this is that I borrowed language from our constitution act, very important language from our Constitution (Fixed Election Dates) Act. Now in my view, the most efficient way of reducing red tape would be to eliminate the government, vote out the government that brought in all the red tape in the first place.

The logic behind this proposed amendment is unarguably that a government that brought in the red tape surely should be celebrated, and we should celebrate that on the fixed election date when the government is voted out and replaced by another government that will reduce red tape.

Hon. C. Oakes: Again, you are making a mockery of what we’ve heard from small businesses across the province. We will not be supporting that amendment.

I would remind the member opposite of the importance of small businesses in our communities across British Columbia in creating jobs and in driving the economy of British Columbia. In survey after survey after survey, small business owners across Canada continue to say that red tape is a concern and express frustrations with governments that do not take the problem seriously. We take the problem seriously, and that is why we are introducing this act.

Further to that, complying with rules and regulations, with Canadian businesses of all sizes, costs businesses $37 billion in Canada. It is important that we remain committed and focused on ensuring that if there is regulation, we can reduce regulations and unnecessary housekeeping to support a growing, vibrant small business economy in British Columbia — that we do everything we can to maintain that.

The member opposite makes a mockery. I would have expected more, with the amendments that you have put forward. The fact that you have not even done the research to understand the day that you are bringing forward the information makes a mockery to small businesses across British Columbia and to citizens who have asked us in constituency offices and who have asked us through public engagement that they want to see our government look at ways that we can improve governance efficiency and that we should be committed to housekeeping and that we should be looking at a day that we can measure the performance. We will be doing that by having this legislation, Red Tape Reduction Day Reduction Act.

A. Weaver: Let’s be very clear. I am not making a mockery of small business. I am making a mockery of this government. This government somehow believes that it is helping small business by bringing in a day — a day that is legislated — called red-tape-reduction day.

Small business cares about red tape. They care about action, not about inaction. They care about policies being brought in, not gimmicks — red-tape-reduction days brought to the same stature as Holocaust Memorial Day or Terry Fox Day or B.C. Day or Douglas Day or Family Day and brought above the stature of the Ukrainian genocide on Holodomor Memorial Day, which we can’t even debate here.

Yes, I am making a mockery, but it is a mockery of this government’s lack of vision. It is a mockery of this government being out of ideas. It’s a mockery of this government’s inability to deal with red tape, so it has to pat itself on its back to claim that it will through the introduction of that day.

With that, I will look forward to the vote on this particular amendment.

Hon. C. Oakes: To the member opposite: you can’t have it both ways. Action is 155,000 pieces of red tape that we’ve reduced on small business. Action is about being the only jurisdiction in Canada that has the vision to do this exact commitment, to ensure that we have this focus. Action is what we’ve heard from stakeholders throughout British Columbia. Action is about the Canadian Federation of Independent Business giving the government of British Columbia an A for the efforts that we have made.

Action is about ensuring that we remain committed to listening to citizens through an extensive engagement process, understanding from them the unnecessary red tape that is burdensome to them, that’s a frustration to them, and ensuring that we have a performance measurement process. By that, we have the Red Tape Reduction Day Act.

A. Weaver: With that, I must rest my case by saying that I certainly hope I don’t get a $81 fine on my way home for driving across a firehose.


Committee Stage Debate Video


 

One Comment

  1. October 22, 2015 at 9:29 am

    I applaud your insistence on opposing such rubbish!
    However it seems ridiculous that such petifogging nonsense should take uptime in the house , which should be used to promote solid legislation and address the concerns of British Columbians.