Industry Canada

Industry Canada

March 17, 2008 13:30 ET

BizPaL Launched in Surrey

SURREY, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - March 17, 2008) - Starting and running a business in the City of Surrey just became easier thanks to BizPaL, a new online business permit and licence service that saves time spent on paperwork and helps entrepreneurs start up faster.

Today, Russ Hiebert, Member of Parliament for South Surrey-White Rock-Cloverdale, on behalf of the Honourable Jim Prentice, Minister of Industry, together with the Honourable Kevin Falcon, Minister of Transportation for British Columbia and Member of the Legislative Assembly for Surrey-Cloverdale, and Surrey Councillor Linda Hepner, on behalf of Mayor Dianne Watts, welcomed the launch of BizPaL in Surrey.

BizPaL is an innovative project that provides entrepreneurs with simplified access to the information on permits and licences that they need to establish and run their businesses. This unique partnership among federal, provincial, territorial, regional and local governments is designed to cut through the paperwork burden and red tape that small business owners encounter. The BizPaL service in Surrey was developed with the support of Industry Canada, in collaboration with the City of Surrey and the Province of British Columbia.

"Starting up and growing a business is not easy," said Mr. Hiebert. "In addition to supporting BizPaL, with Budget 2008 we are providing a more competitive and productive economy for small businesses in British Columbia. We are easing the tax compliance burden by addressing the record-keeping requirements for automobile expense deductions and taxable benefits, as well as the Scientific Research and Experimental Development tax incentive program."

"BizPaL is consistent with our government's goal of reducing the regulatory burden on small business," said Minister Falcon. "This will give British Columbia's entrepreneurs more time to focus their efforts on growing their small businesses."

"BizPaL provides the City of Surrey with an exciting new opportunity to serve our business community," said Councillor Hepner. "I am confident this program will allow Surrey to continue to build upon its reputation as being a business-friendly city."

Area business owners and entrepreneurs can access the service by visiting or The Province is looking forward to expanding BizPaL to other areas of British Columbia over the next year.

Visit for additional project history, information and access to the websites of participating partners.


BizPaL Simplifies Permits and Licences for Canadian Businesses

BizPaL is an online service that benefits Canadian businesses by helping them identify which permits and licences they require and how to obtain them. Entrepreneurs simply answer a series of questions on the type of business they want to start or operate and the activities they plan to undertake. BizPaL then automatically generates a list of all required permits and licences from all levels of government, along with basic information on each, and links to government sites where the entrepreneur can learn more and, in some cases, apply online.

BizPaL also benefits governments by making it easier for them to provide accurate information on permits and licences to business. Although the service is offered online, it can also be used through other service channels (i.e., telephone and in-person centres) to improve services to clients.

To date, eight provinces and territories are participating in BizPaL, with more than 80 municipalities offering the service (visit for a complete list of participating jurisdictions). Within the province of British Columbia, Surrey joins a growing list of participating municipalities, including Kamloops, Kelowna, Langley, Quesnel, Nanaimo and Saanich.

BizPaL was a commitment of the Government of Canada in Budget 2006. It grew out of a working group of representatives from federal departments and from provincial, territorial and municipal governments across Canada. The development of the BizPaL project involved consultations with stakeholders in business and government.

In November 2006, the Government of Canada released Advantage Canada, in which it committed to reducing the paper burden on businesses by 20 percent. In Budget 2007, the Government of Canada took further action by requiring key federal regulatory departments and agencies to establish an inventory of administrative requirements and information obligations with which business must comply, and to achieve a 20 percent reduction in these requirements and obligations by November 2008. Budget 2008 reaffirmed this commitment and highlighted the importance of complementary measures that simplify paperwork for businesses but do not reduce the inventory of requirements. BizPaL is key among these complementary measures.


Supporting Small and Medium-Sized Businesses

The Government of Canada recognizes the importance of small businesses to Canada's economy and understands the challenges associated with starting up and growing a business.

That is why, since 2006, the Government of Canada has introduced a number of key measures to help small and medium-sized businesses across the country. The government has:

- committed to establishing the lowest tax rate on new
business investment in the G7

- reduced the small business tax rate to 11 percent and raised
the small business income tax instalment threshold to $400 000

- cut the GST to 5 percent and implemented broad-based personal
income tax cuts

- raised the lifetime capital gains exemption to $750 000 for
small business owners, farmers and fishers

- raised the personal income tax instalment threshold to $3000

- introduced the Canada Employment Credit - a $1000 tax credit on
employment income to offset work-related expenses

- invested $3 million a year in the BizPaL service across the
country - an online time-saving tool that helps entrepreneurs
access permit and licence information from multiple levels of

- instituted a $500 tax deduction for a tradesperson's tools

- increased meal allowance tax exemptions for long-haul truck

- introduced the accelerated capital cost allowance to reduce
investment costs

- supported apprenticeships by introducing the Apprenticeship Job
Creation Tax Credit and the Apprenticeship Incentive Grant

- introduced the Cabinet Directive on Streamlining Regulation

- committed to establishing the Major Projects Management Office

- committed to establishing the Paperwork Burden Reduction
Initiative for Canadian business, with a plan to reduce the
federal paperwork burden by 20 percent

- improved small vendor access to government procurement contracts
as committed under the Federal Accountability Act, including:

- creating six regional OSME (Office of Small and Medium
Enterprises) offices across the country

- committing to ongoing consultations with the supplier

- creating a Procurement Auditor to perform an ongoing and
independent audit of government procurement

- developing a Code of Conduct for Procurement

- conducting an independent review of a new procurement

- ensuring that procurement officers are accredited and

Contact Information

  • Office of the Honourable Diane Ablonczy
    Secretary of State (Small Business and Tourism)
    Catherine Godbout
    Industry Canada
    Media Relations
    Government of British Columbia
    Ministry of Small Business and Revenue
    Dave Crebo
    Communications Director
    Office of the Mayor - Surrey, British Columbia
    Joel Giebelhaus
    Communications and Policy Advisor