The Canadian government is pushing for agreement among all premiers to break down inter-provincial trade barriers across Canada by the end of the year.
The initiative was made clear in comments made by Federal Industry Minister James Moore, and reported by the Canadian Press, during a tour of Quidi Vidi Brewing Co. in St. John’s, N.L.
Moore said he hopes premiers will emerge united to promote freer trade across provincial boundaries when they hold their annual meeting at the end of the month in Prince Edward Island, and cited increased labor mobility between Ontario and Quebec and in Atlantic Canada, along with a joint letter last month from the premiers of Alberta, British Columbia and Saskatchewan calling for a removal of trade barriers.
“It’s, to me, critical that we have as much economic opportunity for Canadians within Canada as we do have trade opportunities around the world,” Moore said. “I certainly hope that before the end of the year we’ll have a clear consensus amongst all provinces to move forward.”
As reported by the Canadian Press, Premier Tom Marshall of Newfoundland and Labrador met with Moore and said his province is on board. “It seems a bit ridiculous that we have rights under foreign agreements and that we don’t have the same rights under our own agreement of internal trade with other provinces,” he said. “When CETA’s approved we’ll be able to sell into Europe but not necessarily be able to sell into other provinces. So it’s time for the agreement to be modernized.”