Hay River South MLA Rocky Simpson brought up the issue of “dreaded” government red tape in the Legislative Assembly on Feb. 5.
In a member’s statement, Simpson said the government continues to pile red tape onto northern companies, driving up the cost of doing business while reducing productivity and affecting timely delivery of projects.
“This often results in contractors being penalized through non-payment, holdbacks, or being told they cannot bid on future projects,” he said. “A further reality is that, with the Alberta economy suffering, we are experiencing an influx of southern contractors with which our northern businesses must compete. When our northern businesses lose a contract to a southern firm, it results in the bleeding of dollars outside of our communities, out of the regions, and out of the NWT.”
Later on Feb. 5, Simpson questioned Premier Caroline Cochrane about red tape.
“I am just wondering what this government is planning to do to alleviate the amount of red tape that we have within the departments,” he said.
Cochrane responded that red tape has been identified as an issue for well over four years, adding that support for businesses is a priority for the government.
“Some of the red tape is necessary,” she said. “We also need to make sure that we protect the environment and we protect all different things that can come up, but we are going to be looking through them all and making sure that what is not necessary is not there. We should not be just developing the pen for the sake of writing. We should be using the pen to make sure that we capture all of the risks, but that it is as comprehensive and appealing to people as possible so that people can access contracts within the Northwest Territories.”