Nunatsiaq Online
NEWS: Nunavut October 16, 2012 - 5:05 am

Ottawa, Nunavut tout whiz-bang Bizpal website

“With that they will save time and they will save money”

SAMANTHA DAWSON
Nunavut’s human resources minister, Monica Ell, standing in for economic development minister Peter Taptuna, and Maxime Bernier, the federal minister of state for small business and tourism, sign an agreement Oct. 15 in Iqaluit under which Ottawa will help pay for a new web service that’s supposed to simplify forms and regulations to potential Nunavut business people. (PHOTO BY SAMANTHA DAWSON)
Nunavut’s human resources minister, Monica Ell, standing in for economic development minister Peter Taptuna, and Maxime Bernier, the federal minister of state for small business and tourism, sign an agreement Oct. 15 in Iqaluit under which Ottawa will help pay for a new web service that’s supposed to simplify forms and regulations to potential Nunavut business people. (PHOTO BY SAMANTHA DAWSON)

Starting a private business in Nunavut may get easier thanks to an online permit and licensing service that’s still in the works, Maxime Bernier, minister of state for small business and tourism announced in Iqaluit Oct. 15.

The website, called Bizpal, is a partnership between territorial, federal and municipal governments.

With Bizpal, future or current entrepreneurs can gain access to forms they need to start up or run their business and “cut through the paperwork burden and red tape,” an Industry Canada news release said.

It’s currently used in all provinces and territories except Quebec and Nunavut.

But that will change for Nunavummiut.

“At the click of a mouse they can be able to look at all the regulations and the permits that they need and being able to start a business [more efficiently],” Bernier said.

“With that they will save time and they will save money,” he added.

Iqaluit West MLA Monica Ell, a former businessperson who serves in the Nunavut cabinet as human resources minister, spoke on behalf of Peter Taptuna, Nunavut’s minister economic development and transportation.

But Ell couldn’t say exactly when the service would be up and running.

“Hopefully by the end of the year,” she said.

Nunavut’s gross domestic product “has grown faster than any other province or territory in Canada and we need to take advantage of this,” Ell said.

A business idea could “be as simple as a small store or a tourism operation.” 

And if that idea was feasible, all you’d then would be need a permit and a license for the business.

That’s where Bizpal comes in because “it’s a single-window access to government forms,” she said.

Ell, a former president of the Nunavut Economic Forum, who won a business of the year award for her clothing design and sewing supply store in Iqaluit, said the GN is committed to helping entrepreneurs.

“I know the many challenges Nunavummiut face when starting up a business,” she said.

By 2030, Nunavut wants to see “communities will be self-reliant with reduced dependency on government.”

While Bernier agreed running a business in Nunavut is “hard work,” governments can help out, he said.

“We can do it by lowering taxes for the business people, by imposing less regulations on entrepreneurs and also by helping entrepreneurs to start business[es],” he said.

The Bizpal website will be available in Inuktitut, English and French.

“As soon as everything is operating it will be up and running,” Ell said.

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