The province has taken the first steps to establish a new, 10-day service standard for government permits and licences for businesses and individuals. The service standard is set out in the Better Regulation Initiative’s progress report released today, Nov. 20. “Nova Scotia has made more efficient regulation a priority and has set aggressive targets to improve its business climate while, at the same time, ensuring citizen protection,” said Jamie Muir, chair of the Treasury and Policy Board and Minister responsible for the Better Regulation Initiative. “With the release of the Better Regulation initiative’s second progress report, we are delivering on our commitment to report publicly and regularly.” The 2006-07 progress report highlights the province’s commitment to reduce the paper work burden for business. It also features examples of the province’s improvements to the regulatory climate, including a new weigh-in motion system, a new septic approval process, and a new propane registration system for residential installations. Last month, the province announced it had stopped the growth of provincial regulatory paper work and made an initial reduction of 2.5 per cent. A service standard for processing applications for licences and permits within 10 business days will complement the efforts to reduce paperwork by tackling the time business waits to hear the results of their applications. “Nova Scotia’s Better Regulation Initiative has all of the factors needed for success, including measurement, public reporting and reduction targets,” said Leanne Hachey, vice-president Atlantic, Canadian Federation of Independent Business. “It’s a model we are waving across the country.” The Better Regulation Initiative is a multi-pronged approach to improving the provincial government’s regulatory climate. It aims to maintain the benefits of regulation while making it easier to do business in Nova Scotia. It involves all departments of the provincial government in creating a culture of continuous improvement that will result in simpler, more effective regulation. For more information on the Better Regulation Initiative, visit www.gov.ns.ca/betterregulation.
WASHINGTON — The Latest on the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy meeting (all times local):4:45 a.m.Stock markets are subdued ahead of a monetary policy statement by the U.S. Federal Reserve in which the central bank is expected to say it will be patient about raising interest rates further.Futures for the Dow and the S&P 500 are up 0.1 per cent, while European indexes are trading slightly lower. The dollar is up 0.2 per cent against the yen, at 111.57 yen.The Fed is due to wrap up its policy meeting Wednesday and is widely expected to keep its key short-term rate in a range of 2.25 per cent to 2.5 per cent, still low by historical standards. Most analysts think the policymakers will scale back their projection of rate hikes this year from two to one or perhaps even none.___12:05 a.m.The Federal Reserve is expected to end its latest policy meeting Wednesday by refining its new overarching message that it plans to be “patient” about any further interest rate hikes.The Fed is set to keep its key short-term rate in a range of 2.25 per cent to 2.5 per cent, still low by historical standards. And most analysts think the policymakers will scale back their projection of rate hikes this year from two to one or perhaps even none.The central bank’s theme of patience reflects its calming response since the start of the year to slow growth at home and abroad, a nervous stock market and persistently mild inflation. The Fed executed a pivot when it met in January by signalling that it no longer expected to raise rates soon.The Associated Press