News Release Archive

The Nova Scotia government is taking aim at bureaucratic red tape
with the introduction of the licences, permits, registrations and
certifications (LPRC) act.

Tabled in the legislature today by Business and Consumer Services
Minister Wayne Gaudet, the act provides a framework to ensure 
new provincial government licences, permits, registrations and
certifications adhere to a common set of principles. Similarly,
existing LPRCs, where possible, will be made to conform with the
standards outlined in the act.

"This bill will minimize the creation of future red tape," said
Mr. Gaudet. "Throughout the history of our province, each
department acted on its own to impose licensing or permit
requirements on businesses or individuals. There have never been
any government-wide standards.

"This legislation is an effort to start bringing uniformity to
government, ensuring consistent administration of all LPRCs. We
will no longer be all over the map on what is required to be
licensed or who needs a permit."

The bill allows for the government to set criteria required to
justify a new licence, permit, registration and certification. It
also allows for an appeal process for unsuccessful applicants and
a periodic review of LPRCs to determine if they are needed.

The new legislation, arising out of the Licences, Permits and
Approvals Task Force Report released in April, has the support of
the province's business community, said Peter O'Brien,
vice-president of the Canadian Federation of Independent

"We have worked very hard with the government task force during
the past two years to improve the regulatory burden in this
province," said Mr. O'Brien. "Today, in the introduction of this
act, we see a culmination of this very important effort, and we
believe that once the task force report is fully implemented, the
business environment in Nova Scotia will improve substantially."

The government approved the task force report, which recommended
36 general policies --21 focusing on improving service delivery
and 15 on improving administration of licences, permits and other
approvals. A subsequent review found only 20 per cent of the
recommendations require either legislative or regulatory change.
For those, amendments are being prepared and may be introduced as
early as the spring.

"The remaining 80 per cent of the required changes are
administrative and most are currently being addressed," said Mr.
Gaudet. "For example, the task force recommended that modern
payment systems be implemented, including the use of debit cards.
There is currently an inter-departmental committee looking at the
best and most cost-effective way to implement that

The act defines a licence, permit, registration and
certification, provides a 15-day turnaround time for the
processing of applications, a 45-day renewal notice, and a
shelf-life of three years for licences, permits and registrations
and of five years for certifications. 

To ensure the implementation of government-wide LPRC standards,
the act allows for two mechanisms: the appointment of a
provincial LPRC adviser and departmental advisers to ensure that
the provisions of the act are applied consistently throughout
government; and a central registry of all LPRCs making it easier
for businesses to comply and obtain information about LPRCs.

"Although this bill is just being introduced at this point, the
government is fully committed to living by the spirit of this
legislation starting today," said Mr. Gaudet. "As of right now,
we will minimize the creation of new red tape.

"We are also working now on a larger piece of legislation, which
may be introduced as early as next spring, enabling us to
eliminate some of the existing red tape --and fostering a
healthier business environment." 


Contact: David MacNeil
         Business and Consumer Services

ngr                 Nov. 26, 1997                2:15 p.m.