Government red tape abounds, say local businesses

Chamber of commerce hosted session to discuss red tape reduction

Government red tape slashers will have a big job on their hands if the concerns aired at a Red Deer business gathering are any indication of the problems.

About three dozen business people, municipal officials and community group representatives turned out for a Red Deer & District Chamber of Commerce-led session on the challenges all face dealing with bureaucratic red tape tangles.

“We really covered quite a broad swath of issues,” said chamber policy and advocacy manager Reg Warkentin.

Hassles with the paperwork required for accrediting foreign professionals, trucking regulations and taxes were raised in the meeting attended by Red Deer South MLA Jason Stephan and Lac St. Anne-Parkland MLA Shane Getson, who is on a task force looking at ways to cut red tape.

“Consistency, transparency and accountability were big issues. They were kind of overarching issues that kept coming up through the afternoon,” said Warkentin of Monday’s session.

“There’s also duplication and over-burdensome paperwork and things that just don’t seem to make sense. The group was really trying to focus on the big issues, the things that are slowing down commerce and preventing people from getting work done.”

In support of the proposed Red Tape Reduction Act, the government announced early last month it was creating two industry panels — one focused on hospitality and tourism and the other on oil and gas. The panels will meet twice a year and produce reports for the associate minister of red tape reduction.

As well, input was to be gathered through meetings with small groups and industry leaders, as happened in Red Deer.

Warkentin said some spoke of the need to reduce administration to unlock more of the province’s talented labour pool, which includes those trying to have credentials from other countries or jurisdictions recognized.

“We’re not making the most of our people available,” he said, summing up how many felt.

“The government is taking steps to work with accreditation associations to speed that along, which is really good.”

The difficulty in navigating the public procurement process was another issue raised. Some contracts go to the lowest bidder, but others are evaluated differently, and it is not always clear what criteria are being used and why.

“Depending on the ministry, there are all sorts of different rules,” he said.

Dealing with municipalities — and inconsistency in how the Municipal Government Act is interpreted and enforced — was also a bone of contention.



pcowley@reddeeradvocate.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Man arrested in 2014 drug bust finally getting sentenced

Convicted drug dealer unsuccessfully tried to get case thrown out because of delays

New trail being developed through North Red Deer woods

This forest belt is known for having rough sleeper camps

Moms visit Red Deer’s overdose prevention site

Moms Stop The Harm meet in Red Deer

Lacombe County land dispute to be resolved

Landowners next to new Kuhnen Natural Area feared trespassing and liability issues

Average fall, cold winter ahead, The Weather Network predicts

Canadians can expect average temperatures this fall that will give way to… Continue reading

WATCH: 2019 Canada Winter Games will leave a lasting legacy, say organizers

It leaves Red Deer with the infrastructure and confidence to host future such events

Your community calendar

Wednesday Central Alberta Historical Society annual general meeting is 6 p.m. at… Continue reading

Opinion: City must aim for zero per cent tax hike

Red Deer city council is discussing the benefits of multi-year budgets, which… Continue reading

Rapid rise of co-working providing needed space as big cities feel crunch

TORONTO — When Rahul Raj was ready to move his small but… Continue reading

No Deal: Auto workers strike against GM in contract dispute

DETROIT — More than 49,000 members of the United Auto Workers walked… Continue reading

CREA reports August home sales up from year ago, raises forecast for 2019

OTTAWA — The Canadian Real Estate Association raised its forecast for home… Continue reading

U.S. postal treaty exit would hurt Canadian e-commerce businesses

MONTREAL — U.S. President Donald Trump’s push to withdraw from an international… Continue reading

Saudi Arabian attacks linked to higher oil prices, spark energy stock rally

CALGARY — Higher oil prices spurred by an attack on Saudi Arabian… Continue reading

Health: Are North Americans wimps when it comes to pain?

How do people in other countries handle pain following various surgical procedures?… Continue reading

Most Read