Toba Beta told us that “misinformation is tricking” and judging from Norm Macdonald’s last MLA Report it would seem that he is trying his best to do some tricking. He told us that our provincial government has removed the ability for local governments to be participants in local decision making by passing acts like the Significant Projects Streamlining Act and simply he is wrong. Allow me to clear up this misinformation. The Significant Projects Streamlining Act legislation was passed to remove unnecessary and costly delays from the review process for projects deemed to be of significant provincial importance; delays that had been created by the NDP in the ’90s. Under the NDP, British Columbia had garnered a reputation as having one of the most difficult and lengthy approval processes for major projects in North America and to compete successfully with other jurisdictions, the government had to improve review processes for significant projects.
The Significant Projects Streamlining Act provided a clear signal to potential investors that B.C. had a framework to ensure projects were dealt with in a timely, responsible and disciplined way. The act allowed cabinet to assign special status to a project deemed to be important to the economic, social or environmental well-being of British Columbia.
The act received a great deal of support from people like then-Mayor of Surrey Doug McCallum who publicly stated that he wanted to see governments work together while being held accountable for delivering decisions in a timely manner and that the Significant Projects Streamlining Act would ensure that approval authorities would work together to expedite the decisions needed in an increasingly competitive world.
Jerry Lambert, then-President and CEO of the Business Council of British Columbia, felt that the Significant Streamlining Act was a very important tool for potential investors wishing to invest in British Columbia and that it would send a clear signal to the investment community that process and red tape would not get in the way of investment, jobs or opportunities that were significant to British Columbians.
Then Mayor of Prince George, Colin Kinsley felt that the Significant Projects Streamlining Act would encourage the provincial and local governments to work together to ensure projects would move forward and would help stimulate the economy and provide more employment opportunities for all British Columbians.
Overall, the act was designed to respect the autonomy of local government by creating an innovative framework for dialogue and cooperation on projects that were in the best interest of all British Columbians. Where necessary, the act provides for the appointment of a facilitator to assist in these efforts and overall was part of the government’s commitment to cut red tape and revitalize an economy that had been ravaged by the NDP. It is, also for the record, an act that has never been used.
In 2003 and today, your BC Liberal government was and is always cognizant of the importance of putting public interest at the forefront of policy decisions.
BC Liberal Candidate
Columbia River-Revelstoke Riding