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Mayors nominated for award

Jan 13 2012

Saanich Mayor Frank Leonard and Langford Mayor Stew Young have been named as award finalists for cutting red tape.

Leonard and Young, along with Paul Murray, Saanich director of finance, and retired Saanich administrator David Duke, have been nominated for a Golden Scissors Award from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business for establishing a regional business licence a decade ago. Prior to the introduction, business owners in Greater Victoria were required to get a business licence from every municipality in which they worked.

"It's some years ago that we did it," Leonard said. "I think it's something that people take for granted now in the CRD - the common business licence. It was successful because it was a nonevent. Nobody lost revenue and we all achieved compliance," Leonard said.

The common business licence is designed for business people such as plumbers or electricians whose work takes them across municipal boundaries. There was some reluctance by some jurisdictions at first about the idea of a common business licence because municipalities were worried they were going to lose revenue, Leonard said. "They didn't because people weren't taking out 13 business licences [before]," he said.

This is the first year of the award, which recognizes an individual who has successfully motivated or demonstrated leadership and courage, and produced meaningful and positive results in cutting red tape for small business.

The winner will be announced next Thursday.

bcleverley@timescolonist.com

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