|2002/03 Annual Service
Ministry of Competition, Science and Enterprise
Ministry of Competition, Science and Enterprise was created to implement
initiatives to kick-start the economy and revive the business environment
in British Columbia. We have made significant progress in our mandate.
In 2002/03, the Ministry made important advances in our four core
business areas: removing barriers to business; providing economic
policy and strategic advice; marketing and investment (including
international marketing); and encouraging innovation and the development
and transfer of new knowledge.
progress is reflected in the following accomplishments:
- We eliminated business subsidies and as a result, have created
a healthier climate for competition;
- We reviewed fees and licenses and made changes which ensure
that only users pay for services, not the general taxpaying public;
- We reduced the government-wide regulatory burden on businesses
and entrepreneurs by 13 per cent, and opened up British Columbia
- We enabled competition in the labour-sponsored fund market to
provide choice for shareholders and in turn enabled the funds
to invest more in eligible small businesses, and for those businesses
to retain operational control as they grow;
- OneStop Business Service is now available online in 101 locations
in British Columbia; and
- We attracted two new corporate call centres to British Columbia
potentially creating over 1,400 new jobs.
In addition, we implemented several changes that were identified
through the Core Review Process of 2001/02, namely, reducing Government's
role — and increasing private sector participation —
in the retailing, distribution and warehousing of beverage alcohol
in British Columbia.
Through the Minister of State for Deregulation, Government exceeded
its deregulation target of 12 per cent for 2002/03. The final result
was a net reduction of more than 50,000 unnecessary regulatory
Another milestone this year was the purchase of the site necessary
to proceed with an expanded Vancouver Convention and Exhibition
Centre. The expanded centre will open on time and on budget in 2008.
In March, the Ministry successfully led a Government partnership
resulting in a $27.5 million contribution to Genome British Columbia.
Support for Genome British Columbia's vital research is just one
example of how the British Columbia Government is cultivating a
climate of innovation to attract and retain world-class talent.
We undertook a number of initiatives to promote tourism:
- $1.4 million in funding for development of a cruise ship facility
in Prince Rupert;
- $750,000 in incremental funding to Tourism British Columbia
to increase marketing of tourism opportunities; and
- $500,000 in incremental funding to regional tourism authorities
and the Aboriginal Tourism Association of British Columbia for
All development in British Columbia must proceed with the environment
in mind. The Ministry continued to deliver the federal-provincial
Infrastructure Works program. This year, $222.6 million went
towards 61 "green" infrastructure projects to improve drinking water
quality in communities throughout British Columbia.
In the February 2003 Throne Speech, the Ministry was given responsibility
for leading the Heartlands Economic Strategy — a plan to restore
and expand wealth generation and prosperity in all parts of the
Province, and from all aspects of the land base.
We are encouraged by the strides the Ministry has taken this year,
and plan to continue improving on this progress in the years to
We are pleased to present the details of our activities and accomplishments
in this annual report for the fiscal year 2002/03.
Honourable Rick Thorpe
Minister of Competition, Science and Enterprise
Honourable Kevin Falcon
Minister of State for Deregulation