Message from the Minister and
The Ministry of Small Business and Revenue contributes to British Columbia’s growth as an economic and business leader. The ministry is working to make British Columbia the friendliest jurisdiction in Canada for small business, furthering our government’s Great Goal to lead the nation in job creation.
Our goal is to have a small business environment that focuses on streamlining and simplifying how business is done in British Columbia. In addition, we are committed to leading Canada in our ongoing government-wide regulatory reform initiative.
In October 2005, we established the permanent Small Business Roundtable as a platform to provide ongoing advice and input on issues and opportunities to ensure British Columbia’s economy continues to grow. We will listen to the priorities of small businesses as the roundtable meets in communities throughout British Columbia.
Our ministry is committed to continually improving our reputation as a centre of excellence for customer service. In this regard, we first introduced the Taxpayer Fairness and Service Code in January 2005, and Phase 2 in October 2005. The Taxpayer Fairness and Service Code sets out taxpayers’ rights to timely customer service, courtesy, respect and confidentiality in all their dealings with us. Phase 2 establishes service benchmarks against which we can accurately measure our customer service performance.
The Taxpayer Fairness and Service Code is the result of our working partnership with small business organizations across British Columbia, and reflects our staffs’ commitment to excellence. I thank all those who have given their time, energy and ideas to improve our service delivery to British Columbians. We will continue our partnership with small business organizations to continually strive for improvement in our customer service.
The ministry continues to make progress in consolidating and improving revenue management, and developing innovative government revenue management strategies. The ministry’s private sector alliance continues to bring new opportunities as revenue management functions are transitioned from other ministries. Together we are creating a centre of excellence for revenue management in government. Our goal of continuous improvement will benefit all British Columbians through the generation of revenues that pay for important government programs such as health care, education, transportation, and social services.
As Minister Responsible for Regulatory Reform, I will continue to encourage the development of a modern regulatory system to make it easier and more efficient for citizens to live, work, and operate businesses in British Columbia. We have exceeded our 2001 goal of removing one-third of regulatory requirements. We have reduced red tape by over 40 per cent, removing over 154,000 regulatory requirements. The goal is for citizens and small businesses to spend less time dealing with government, and more time on what’s really important — making their businesses successful and creating more jobs. Regulations will continue to protect public health, safety and the environment, while being responsive to our ever-changing world.
I am pleased to see other jurisdictions across Canada taking note of our successful regulatory reform initiative. The government of Newfoundland and Labrador announced in August 2005 the launch of a Red Tape Reduction initiative based specifically on British Columbia’s program. In addition, we understand Alberta and the Yukon are exploring regulatory reform options.
The Ministry of Small Business and Revenue 2006/07–2008/09 Service Plan was prepared under my direction in accordance with the Budget Transparency and Accountability Act. I am accountable for the basis on which the plan has been prepared. All material fiscal assumptions and policy decisions as of February 1, 2006 have been considered in preparing the plan and I am accountable for achieving its specific objectives.
Additionally, under the Balanced Budget and Ministerial Accountability Act, I am accountable for earning $214.7 million in gross revenue from audit and compliance-related activity in respect of revenues payable under enactments administered by the Minister of Small Business and Revenue.
Service Plans are important in guiding ministry decisions and communicating government priorities to British Columbians. I am pleased to present this plan on behalf of the Ministry of Small Business and Revenue. I am proud of the ministry’s accomplishments and look forward to what we will achieve with our partners over the next three years.
Honourable Rick Thorpe
Minister of Small Business and Revenue and
Minister Responsible for Regulatory Reform
February 1, 2006