On November 17, 2016 the Manitoba Government announced it had joined the New West Partnership Trade Agreement (NWPTA) which came into effect on January 1, 2017. CFIB commends the province for signing the NWPTA and reducing red tape for Manitoba small businesses.
On January 1, 2017, the province started changes allowing for easier movement of goods, services and labour across provincial boundaries. About 40 per cent of Manitoba’s interprovincial exports are to British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan, meaning there is huge potential for Manitoba firms to become more competitive in and grow in these markets. The NWPTA offers access to the four province’s eleven million people and a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) over $750 billion.
How might the NWPTA help your business?
- Labour mobility: Professionals and skilled tradespersons certified in one province will be recognized as qualified in all three other provinces, without extra exams or training. Workers will have more choice where to live and work. When hiring, employers will access a bigger pool of professional and trades candidates.
- Business registration: Reporting and registration will be a ‘one-stop shop.’ When registering in Manitoba, one can register in BC, Alberta and/or Saskatchewan at the same time without paying the other provinces’ fees. This will save time and money. Manitoba will adjust its systems no later than January 1, 2020. Stay tuned for details on what happens with companies already registered in Manitoba.
- Streamlined regulations: NWPTA provinces are to eliminate rules that impair trade, investment and labour mobility. The provinces are to work together enhancing regulations about sustainable development, consumer protection, environmental protection, health and safety standards and labour standards. This aspect is to be effective for Manitoba as of January 1, 2019.
- Increased access to procurement opportunities: Lower thresholds for purchasing of goods, services and construction will increase opportunities for Manitoba companies to bid on public contracts.