CFTA – What it is, and what it means for your business

The Canadian Free Trade Agreement (CFTA) is a new deal that aims to remove trade barriers to conducting business within Canada. It sets out to resolve the conflicting rules and regulations across provinces. It is an ambitious deal that will begin to be implemented on July 1, 2017. This agreement is just the beginning, There is still more work to be done.

Top 3 things you need to know about CFTA:

Additional Procurement Opportunities: As of July 1, there will be $4.7 B in new procurement opportunities available to businesses across Canada.

Easier To Hire: The CFTA will ease rules to make it easier to hire workers from out of province.

Less Red Tape: A commitment has been made by all governments to reconcile regulations that act as needless barriers to trade and investment in Canada.

Laura Jones and Monique Moreau from CFIB present the Special Edition Golden Scissors Award to the Trade ministers in recognition of the CFTA

How do you make sure that your voice is heard by government?

Tell us your stories of frustration with regulations at 1-888-234-2232 or We will ensure that your concerns are formally communicated to government. We will continue to work tirelessly to ensure that these concerns are fully considered as federal, provincial and territorial officials work through the details of the implementation of CFTA. 

To date, here are some of the issues that our members have brought to our attention:

  • Different rules around permits, safety, and vehicle registrations between all provinces and territories increase the costs of shipping goods from one province to another.
  • Inconsistent regulations and standards results in manufacturers needing to adapt their machinery in order to produce different size containers such as dairy creamers, butter and drinkable yogurt for sale across all provincial jurisdictions.
  • Manufacturers of food products certified by provincial authorities face interprovincial trade barriers because provinces do not recognize each other’s food safety regimes.
  • Workers’ Compensation legislation across Canada is confusing and difficult to navigate, especially when a company is conducting business in another jurisdiction.

We know that there are many more stories out there and we want to hear them all. With the details being ironed out over the next year, it is imperative that we hear your story today.

Richard Truscott and Corinne Pohlmann from CFIB with Hon. Teresa Wat, British Columbia’s Minister of International Trade

Jonathan Alward from CFIB with Hon. Cliff Cullen, Manitoba’s Minister of Enterprise and Trade