Industry Canada

Industry Canada

June 06, 2008 16:01 ET

Industry Canada: BizPal Launched in St. Catharines, Ontario

ST. CATHARINES, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - June 6, 2008) - Starting and running a business in the city of St. Catharines 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, Rick Dykstra, Member of Parliament for St. Catharines, on behalf of the Honourable Jim Prentice, Minister of Industry, together with Sophia Aggelonitis, Member of Provincial Parliament (Hamilton Mountain) and Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Small Business and Entrepreneurship, on behalf the Honourable Ted McMeekin, Ontario's Minister of Government and Consumer Services, and Brian McMullan, Mayor of St. Catharines, welcomed the launch of BizPaL in St. Catharines.

BizPaL is an innovative project that provides entrepreneurs with simplified access to the information on permits and licences 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 St. Catharines was developed with the support of Industry Canada, in collaboration with the City of St. Catharines and the Province of Ontario.

"BizPaL is part of our government's economic plan that is laid out in Advantage Canada to provide an innovative and entrepreneurial business environment," said Mr. Dykstra. "This service will benefit the province of Ontario and the city of St. Catharines by providing valuable information to businesses, helping them to grow and prosper."

"Ontario powers Canada's economy with about 40 percent of this country's total employment," said Minister McMeekin. "Small business drives this growth, and BizPaL makes it easier for small and medium-sized businesses to thrive in this province."

"With more than 5000 in St. Catharines alone, small and medium-sized enterprises are the key to the future of our local economy," said Mayor McMullan. "So it is important for the City to support initiatives such as BizPaL that will assist this growing sector."

Area business owners and entrepreneurs can access the service by visiting www.stcatharines.ca or www.serviceontario.ca/bizpal. The Province is looking forward to expanding BizPaL to other areas of Ontario over the next year.
Visit bizpal.ca for additional project history, information and access to the websites of participating partners.

Backgrounder

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, 8 provinces and territories are participating in BizPaL, with more than 125 municipalities offering the service.

In November 2006, the Government of Canada released its long-term economic plan called Advantage Canada, in which it committed to reducing the paperwork burden on businesses by 20 percent. Budget 2008 reaffirmed this commitment and highlighted the importance of complementary measures that simplify paperwork for businesses. BizPaL is key among these measures.

The success of BizPaL is due to the multi-jurisdictional partnership among the federal, provincial, territorial, regional and local governments. The partnership operates under a shared governance and costing model with collaborative decision making. Each jurisdiction is responsible for adding and maintaining its own information in BizPaL. ServiceOntario, part of Ontario's Ministry of Government and Consumer Services, is entrusted with engaging local governments to make this important service available across Ontario.

Within the province of Ontario, St. Catharines joins more than 40 municipalities participating in BizPaL. Visit www.bizpal.ca for a complete list of participating jurisdictions.

Contact Information

  • Office of the Honourable Diane Ablonczy
    Secretary of State (Small Business and Tourism)
    Catherine Godbout
    613-947-5856
    or
    Province of Ontario
    Issues Management and Media Relations
    Ciaran Ganley
    Manager
    416-325-8659
    Cell.: 647-218-8659
    or
    Industry Canada
    Media Relations
    613-943-2502
    or
    City of St. Catharines
    David Oakes
    Director of Economic Development and Tourism Services
    905-688-5601, ext. 1700
    doakes@stcatharines.ca