EDITORIAL: Empty gestures

BC Liberals' "Red Tape Reduction Day" Bill nothing more than an empty gesture

The irony, as they say, is delicious.

This week, the BC Liberals introduced to the legislature Bill 34, which aims to proclaim the first Wednesday in March as “Red Tape Reduction Day.”

Yes, really.

The goal, one assumes, is a relatively simple one – to eliminate excess paper work, delays and other unnecessary road blocks that only serve to hold up the otherwise good and important work done by the provincial government.

Of course, we are left to make that assumption on our own, as the actual wording of the proclamation itself – just a few short expository paragraphs – provides little in the way of useful information.

What is the end goal of such a day? What exact measures will be taken to achieve said goals? Who, exactly, will benefit? And how?

In the spirit of the bill itself, at least it’s succinct.

However, a few more words would go a long way toward explaining what, exactly, the point of it is, because on the surface it seems to be nothing more than parody – an unnecessary procedure that passes a law celebrating the reduction of unnecessary procedures.

Red-tape reduction was addressed by Premier Christy Clark during a throne speech earlier this year. It was made a priority at that time, and responsibilities dumped on the lap of new minister of small business, Coralee Oakes.

And now here they are, talking about it again without substance. Seems redundant, no?

Critics – opposition politicians and citizens, alike – were quick to jump on the absurdity of it all, making comparisons to everything from Monty Python to The Simpsons, while wondering if it was a story culled from The Onion, the satirical online newspaper.

Had such a bill been passed on a larger stage, by a bigger government, it would likely be the lead item on any number of late-night television monologues.

But potshots aside, the bill itself seems meaningless – nothing more than an empty gesture aimed to make the government appear pro-active and forward thinking, while accomplishing nothing.

You know, the usual red tape.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Surrey monitoring traffic as vehicles again clog city streets

Compared with city’s 2019 weekly average, deepest volume reduction was in late March with up to 46 per cent less vehicles

Refund emails from City of White Rock a ‘phishing’ scam

IT staff work to nullify security breach in ‘classic phishing campaign’

Art’s Scarecrow Festival returns in September

Sixth annual event will be different than previous events because of the pandemic

Surrey’s top cop is keynote speaker at Surrey Board of Trade AGM

Asssistant Commissioner Brian Edwards will be on deck at Tuesday’s ‘virtual’ meeting

B.C. records new COVID-19 death, 85 more cases; Horgan calls on celebrity help

This brings the total number of active confirmed cases to 531 across the province

Horvat scores 2 as Vancouver Canucks beat Blues 5-2 in NHL playoff opener

Game 2 in best-of-seven series goes Friday night

Teachers to get 2 extra days to prepare for students’ return, now set for Sept. 10

Students will first start with orientation and learn rules of COVID-19 classroom policies

High-volume littering at Cape Scott draws ire from hiking groups

Popular Vancouver Island hiking spot not closing, but frustration about crowding grows

SFU to drop ‘Clan’ varsity team name

The ‘Clan’ name is shortened from ‘Clansmen,’ and was introduced roughly 55 years ago

New Tory leader must build a strong team in Commons and for the campaign: Scheer

Scheer marked his final day in the House of Commons today as leader of the Opposition

B.C. to hire 500 more COVID-19 contact tracers ahead of fall

Contract tracers add an ‘extra layer’ in the fight against the novel coronavirus

Feds commit $305M in additional funds for Indigenous communities during COVID-19

Money can be used to battle food insecurity and support children and mental health

We were a bit tone deaf: Hobo Cannabis renamed Dutch Love after backlash

Hobo Cannabis has various locations in Vancouver, Kelowna and Ottawa

Most Read