TORONTO, Dec. 8, 2022 /CNW/ - Today, the Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Infrastructure and Communities, announced the new Federal Action Plan to Strengthen Internal Trade during the Committee on Internal Trade (CIT) meeting.
Since the signing of the Canadian Free Trade Agreement (CFTA) in 2017, the Government of Canada, working with provinces and territories, has achieved meaningful progress to reduce barriers to trade and labour mobility, including the removal of the only federal restrictions on the interprovincial movement of alcohol, and advancing regulatory harmonization in key sectors including agri-food, transportation, energy and occupational health and safety.
The Action Plan outlines a strategy to accelerate efforts to remove barriers to trade and make life more affordable for all Canadians. It contains five key elements:
the launch of the first pan-Canadian Internal Trade Information Hub to provide critical, open and accessible data on internal trade in Canada;
stakeholder engagement to better understand what can be done to support internal trade around the country;
research to identify and address trade barriers;
enhanced funding for the Internal Trade Secretariat, and
a review of the CFTA to reduce federal exemptions, with a focus on government procurement.
The pan-Canadian Internal Trade Data and Information Hub will be a one-stop-shop for data, making it more readily available and accessible for Canadian workers wishing to work in a different province or territory, and businesses wishing to expand to new markets within Canada. In the coming months, the Government will consult with stakeholders on trade barriers and how best to address them.
The Action Plan further supports the advancements made at today's meeting. Minister LeBlanc highlighted the federal government's leadership on the inclusion of non-medical cannabis in the CFTA, progress on the negotiation of a CFTA financial services chapter, and collaboration between the federal government and the Territories to advance food security in the North.
Minister LeBlanc also underscored the need to improve labour mobility in healthcare, manufacturing, and the building trades sectors. He highlighted recent federal initiatives such as the expanded Foreign Credential Recognition Program and the launch of the Labour Mobility Tax Deduction for Tradespeople.
In addition, Minister LeBlanc welcomed recent provincial and territorial efforts to strengthen internal trade. Notably, the Government of Alberta has been leading on mutual recognition. Canada worked collaboratively with the western provinces to ensure that service rigs move freely between western provinces, reducing administrative burden and enabling growth in the sector. Minister LeBlanc recognized the leadership of Premier Houston to advance efforts in Nova Scotia to strengthen labour mobility notably in the healthcare sector.
By reducing internal trade barriers, the Government of Canada is making life more affordable for Canadians and building an economy that works for everyone.
"Our government is leading efforts to make it easier for entrepreneurs to do business and for workers to get a job. Working with provinces and territories, we will continue to remove barriers to internal trade and build an economy that works for everyone."
—The Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Infrastructure and Communities
According to the International Monetary Fund, removing barriers to internal trade within Canada could increase Canada's gross domestic product by almost four per cent.
Through Budget 2021, the Government of Canada invested $21 million over three years to reduce barriers to trade in Canada and help build an open and accessible pan-Canadian internal trade data portal.
The federal government released four Regulatory Roadmaps in June 2019, setting out a plan for reducing regulatory barriers and bottlenecks in targeted high-growth sectors.
Through the Regulatory Reconciliation and Cooperation Table, federal, provincial and territorial governments have also agreed on a renewed work plan for reconciling and co-operating on regulations in the coming years.
SOURCE Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Infrastructure and Communities
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