Industry Canada

Industry Canada
Government of British Columbia

Government of British Columbia

April 04, 2007 18:30 ET

Industry Canada: BizPaL Launched in British Columbia and Kelowna

KELOWNA, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(CCNMatthews - April 4, 2007) - The Honourable Gerry Ritz, Secretary of State (Small Business and Tourism), on behalf of the Honourable Maxime Bernier, Minister of Industry, today welcomed the launch of BizPaL in the Province of British Columbia and the City of Kelowna.

"Through BizPaL, governments across Canada are working together to create opportunities for small businesses," said Secretary of State Ritz. "Canada's New Government is pleased to be working with the Province of British Columbia and the City of Kelowna to promote a more competitive and productive local economy by providing easy access to essential information and reducing paperwork costs for business."

Secretary of State Ritz was joined by the Honourable Rick Thorpe, Minister of Small Business and Revenue and Minister responsible for Regulatory Reform for the Province of British Columbia, for the signing of a five-year multi-jurisdictional memorandum of understanding (MOU). The Government of Canada and the Province of British Columbia are the first to sign this MOU, which formally acknowledges a shared commitment to the BizPaL initiative. The City of Kamloops, as one of the founding partners in the BizPaL initiative, is witnessing the MOU on behalf of other local governments.

BizPaL is an innovative project designed to help Canadian businesses save time when accessing licensing and permit information from multiple levels of government. This unique partnership between federal, provincial, territorial, regional and local governments provides entrepreneurs and business people with simplified access to the information they need to launch or grow their businesses. Federal and provincial information is now available province-wide with the launch of a new website (www.bcbizpal.ca). Today, the City of Kelowna also joined the province in offering the BizPaL service through www.kelowna.ca, which provides an additional level of municipal information for the city's business community.

"User-friendly, time-saving tools like BizPaL cut red tape dramatically and reflect our government's commitment to making British Columbia Canada's most small-business friendly jurisdiction," said Minister Thorpe. "BizPaL is one of many recent advances we've made to help British Columbia small businesses access clear, relevant information and deal with regulatory requirements as quickly as possible, so they have more time to focus on growing their businesses and creating jobs."

"Small business representatives throughout British Columbia have told us government needs to develop more streamlined administrative processes," said Linda Larson, Vice-Chair of British Columbia's permanent Small Business Roundtable. "With BizPaL, it's great to see multiple levels of government working together toward this time-saving goal."

"This initiative shows tremendous support for Canada's small-business community. We receive countless calls to City Hall from people throughout Canada and the world, asking what is needed to set up a business in Kelowna. I'm so pleased we can offer this impressive tool that will help business people navigate through the multi-jurisdictional processes," said Kelowna Mayor Sharon Shepherd.
The online service generates a customized list of required government permits and licences. The list includes basic information about permits and licences from all levels of government.

The BizPaL system in the City of Kelowna was developed with Industry Canada support, in collaboration with the Province of British Columbia. Kamloops was the first city in British Columbia to launch the BizPaL service as part of a pilot project in April 2006. The Kamloops BizPaL website, now re-launched with a new look and feel, can be found at www.kamloops.ca/bizpal.

Please visit www.bizpal.ca for additional project history and information, as well as to access the websites of participating partners.


BACKGROUNDER

BizPaL Simplifies Permits and Licences for Canadian Businesses

BizPaL is an online project that benefits Canadian businesses by helping them identify which permits and licences are required 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 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, BizPaL has been launched in British Columbia, the City of Kamloops and the City of Kelowna; Manitoba and the Morden-Stanley-Thompson-Winkler Planning District; Ontario and the City of Ottawa, and the Regional Municipality of Halton with the City of Burlington, the Town of Halton Hills and the Town of Milton; Saskatchewan and the cities of Saskatoon, Moose Jaw, Weyburn, Swift Current and Prince Albert; and Yukon with the municipalities of Carmacks, Dawson City, Faro, Haines Junction, Mayo, Teslin, Watson Lake and Whitehorse. The City of Brandon, Manitoba, has also announced its intention to launch BizPaL.

The Government of British Columbia and the Government of Canada are the first to sign a multi-jurisdictional memorandum of understanding (MOU) that will also include other participating provinces and territories. This MOU marks a critical milestone as it formally acknowledges a shared vision and investment in the BizPaL initiative to better serve business.

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

BizPaL was a commitment of Canada's New Government in Budget 2006. The government is getting things done for businesses and taxpayers by working with provincial, territorial and local governments to launch the BizPaL program. In November 2006, the government released Advantage Canada, in which it identified ways to give Canada an entrepreneurial advantage and committed to reducing the paperwork burden by 20 percent.

Contact Information

  • Office of the Honourable Gerry Ritz
    Secretary of State (Small Business and Tourism)
    Todd MacKay
    613-943-6183
    or
    Industry Canada
    Media Relations
    613-943-2502
    or
    Ministry of Small Business and Revenue
    Province of British Columbia
    Theresa Lumsdon
    Communications Director
    250-387-4193
    or
    Office of the Honourable Maxime Bernier
    Minister of Industry
    Isabelle Fontaine
    613-995-9001
    or
    City of Kelowna
    Kirsten Jones
    Communications Coordinator
    250-469-8978