Ministry 2002/03 Annual Service Plan Report -- Government of British Columbia.
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2002/03 Annual Service Plan Report
Ministry of Competition, Science and Enterprise

Photograph -- Honourable Rick Thorpe.The Ministry of Competition, Science and Enterprise was created to implement initiatives to kick-start the economy and revive the business environment in British Columbia. We have made significant progress in our mandate.

In 2002/03, the Ministry made important advances in our four core business areas: removing barriers to business; providing economic policy and strategic advice; marketing and investment (including international marketing); and encouraging innovation and the development and transfer of new knowledge.

Photograph -- Honourable Kevin Falcon.Our progress is reflected in the following accomplishments:

  • We eliminated business subsidies and as a result, have created a healthier climate for competition;
  • We reviewed fees and licenses and made changes which ensure that only users pay for services, not the general taxpaying public;
  • We reduced the government-wide regulatory burden on businesses and entrepreneurs by 13 per cent, and opened up British Columbia for business;
  • We enabled competition in the labour-sponsored fund market to provide choice for shareholders and in turn enabled the funds to invest more in eligible small businesses, and for those businesses to retain operational control as they grow;
  • OneStop Business Service is now available online in 101 locations in British Columbia; and
  • We attracted two new corporate call centres to British Columbia potentially creating over 1,400 new jobs.

In addition, we implemented several changes that were identified through the Core Review Process of 2001/02, namely, reducing Government's role — and increasing private sector participation — in the retailing, distribution and warehousing of beverage alcohol in British Columbia.

Through the Minister of State for Deregulation, Government exceeded its deregulation target of 12 per cent for 2002/03. The final result was a net reduction of more than 50,000 unnecessary regulatory requirements.

Another milestone this year was the purchase of the site necessary to proceed with an expanded Vancouver Convention and Exhibition Centre. The expanded centre will open on time and on budget in 2008.

In March, the Ministry successfully led a Government partnership resulting in a $27.5 million contribution to Genome British Columbia. Support for Genome British Columbia's vital research is just one example of how the British Columbia Government is cultivating a climate of innovation to attract and retain world-class talent.

We undertook a number of initiatives to promote tourism:

  • $1.4 million in funding for development of a cruise ship facility in Prince Rupert;
  • $750,000 in incremental funding to Tourism British Columbia to increase marketing of tourism opportunities; and
  • $500,000 in incremental funding to regional tourism authorities and the Aboriginal Tourism Association of British Columbia for marketing efforts.

All development in British Columbia must proceed with the environment in mind. The Ministry continued to deliver the federal-provincial Infrastructure Works program. This year, $222.6 million went towards 61 "green" infrastructure projects to improve drinking water quality in communities throughout British Columbia.

In the February 2003 Throne Speech, the Ministry was given responsibility for leading the Heartlands Economic Strategy — a plan to restore and expand wealth generation and prosperity in all parts of the Province, and from all aspects of the land base.

We are encouraged by the strides the Ministry has taken this year, and plan to continue improving on this progress in the years to come.

We are pleased to present the details of our activities and accomplishments in this annual report for the fiscal year 2002/03.

Honourable Rick Thorpe
Minister of Competition, Science and Enterprise

Honourable Kevin Falcon
Minister of State for Deregulation


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