News Releases

News Release - Manitoba

February 8, 2019

NEW WEST PARTNERSHIP TRADE AGREEMENT PROVINCES SIGN AGREEMENT TO HANDLE PROCUREMENT DISPUTES



New West Partnership Trade Agreement (NWPTA) partners British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba have entered into an agreement that will provide suppliers with a more efficient and timely way to resolve procurement concerns.

“The agreement establishes a single dispute resolution procedure for procurement under multiple trade agreements, simplifying the process for suppliers,” said Manitoba Growth, Enterprise and Trade Minister Blaine Pedersen.  “The New West Partnership Trade Agreement works to reduce trade barriers and support a thriving interprovincial market.  This new, more efficient process will help to streamline trade in the western provinces.”

Major trade agreements, including the NWPTA, the Canadian Free Trade Agreement and the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, as well as the World Trade Organization, require a review procedure in the event of procurement disputes.

This provides suppliers with a timely and effective way to resolve concerns that a procurement issued by a government entity was not conducted in compliance with the rules of a particular trade agreement.

The dispute resolution procedure, called a bid protest mechanism, applies to any trade agreement and allows provinces to meet their obligations under all domestic and international trade agreements.

“Canada’s western provinces are united in the goal to see continued economic growth throughout the region,” said Saskatchewan Trade and Export Development Minister Jeremy Harrison.  “By expanding the bid protest mechanism to cover other domestic and international trade agreements, we are creating an efficient, consistent and simplified process for suppliers and parties to the NWPTA to address and resolve procurement issues in the region.”  

The bid protest mechanism allows a supplier to begin consultations about a specific procurement covered by domestic and international trade agreements.  If the complaint is not resolved through that process, an arbiter will be selected to adjudicate the matter based on written submissions provided by the supplier and the procuring entity.

The NWPTA is an accord between the governments of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba that creates Canada's largest barrier-free interprovincial market.  The agreement came into effect July 1, 2010, and has been fully implemented since July 1, 2013.  Manitoba joined the NWPTA on Nov. 17, 2016.

For more information visit www.newwestpartnership.ca/bid-protest.html.

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