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Council of the “new and improved” federation: Premiers agree on trade

Toronto, July 22, 2016 – Small business applauds premiers’ decision today to create a stronger economic union. The new framework for internal trade in Canada is a vast improvement over the existing Agreement on Internal Trade (AIT).

The new framework includes:

  • A negative list – all goods and services are included in the agreement unless they are specifically excluded.
  • A mechanism to reconcile red tape barriers between provinces – a regulatory body will be set up to address regulatory irritants between provinces.

“While this agreement doesn’t complete the job, it is a huge step forward in creating the transparency that will help us push for even freer trade and less red tape between provinces over time. It is worth celebrating,” said CFIB executive vice-president Laura Jones.

In terms of regulatory barriers to doing business between provinces, CFIB has identified four key areas for provinces to focus on:

  • WCB rules – Businesses with workers in multiple provinces have to register with and administer workers compensation programs in each province, even if the workers are only working in a province temporarily.
  • Transportation rules – Different rules for truck dimensions and signage discourage inter-provincial shipping. For example, trucks crossing from one province to the next needing to pull to the side of the road to change their “wide load” signs.
  • Manufacturing rules – Different standards require manufacturers to adapt their machinery in order to produce different sized containers for dairy creamers, butter and drinkable yogurt.
  • Corporate registration – Requiring businesses to register in every province in which they operate is unnecessary extra paperwork that makes many think twice before expanding.

“With Canada’s 150th birthday coming up, I can’t think of a better gift to Canadians than to reinforce the foundation of our economic union by encouraging the free movement of goods, services, investment, and people, across Canada,” said Monique Moreau, Director, National Affairs.

CFIB is congratulating trade ministers and premiers across Canada. Once the federal government signs off, CFIB will nominate the agreement for its prestigious Golden Scissors Award.

To arrange an interview with Laura Jones or Monique Moreau, please contact Al Maggi at 416-455-7824 or [email protected].

CFIB is Canada’s largest association of small- and medium-sized businesses with 109,000 members across every sector and region.

July 22, 2016

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