News Releases

News Release - Manitoba

October 4, 2019

Manitoba Continues to Lead on Reducing Barriers to Internal Trade

Effective immediately, the Manitoba government is removing a number of its exceptions under the Canadian Free Trade Agreement (CFTA) to further reduce interprovincial trade barriers, Premier Brian Pallister announced today.

Interprovincial trade within Canada is now valued at more than $406 billion.  Nationally, internal trade barriers amount to a 6.9 per cent tariff, according to Statistics Canada.  Removing these barriers could increase national GDP by four per cent, and put $1,500 back on the kitchen table of every Canadian family every year, the premier noted.

“Manitoba continues to lead work to reduce trade barriers within Canada, to create additional economic growth and benefit for all Manitobans,” said Pallister.  “Our government was already a trailblazer in opening internal trade under the CFTA.  We are again leading by example in reducing our already limited exceptions, and we encourage the federal and all other provincial and territorial governments to follow our course.”

The province is removing the following six exceptions under the CFTA to further reduce red tape and improve Manitoba’s economic advantage:

  • restrictions on eligibility for forage leases on Crown land to residents of Manitoba;
  • preference for Manitoba residents in the allocation, sale and lease of cottage lots, development in provincial parks and other Crown land;  
  • the monopoly on marketing of wholesale trade in fish through the Freshwater Fish Corporation;
  • limitations on market access for services and investment in oil and gas pipelines;
  • limitations on market access for services and investment in forestry and logging products, forest resource processing, services incidental to agriculture, hunting and forestry, manufacture of paper and paper products on a fee or contract basis; and
  • preference for Manitoba companies in procurement for representational purposes.  

As a result, Manitoba will be one of only two jurisdictions in Canada with no procurement exceptions under the CFTA.  Manitoba is also narrowing one additional exception by removing preference for transferring or granting surplus Manitoba Hydro property to Manitoba residents.  These changes were identified during the government’s latest review of our exceptions, following the July 10 commitment of all premiers to maintain momentum on this vitally important national initiative, Pallister said.  Manitoba’s ongoing review continues, with the goal of further eliminating or narrowing the province’s few remaining exceptions, he added.

“Breaking down trade barriers helps to grow investment and support job creation here in Manitoba,” said Pallister.  “We will continue working to deliver on our commitment to make our province more open, trade friendly and prosperous.”

The premier also announced that Manitoba has approved a formal CFTA amendment that will allow all governments to unilaterally remove or narrow interprovincial trade exceptions moving forward.

The CFTA seeks to enhance trade, investment, and labour mobility within Canada to reduce and eliminate barriers to the free movement of persons, goods, services and investments through an open, efficient and stable domestic market.  All trade in Canada is covered by the CFTA unless specifically exempted by a general or specific government exception.

During the July 2019 Summer Meeting of Canada’s Premiers, all provinces and territories committed to conducting a full review of their own specific exceptions by the end of 2019, and called on the federal government to do the same.  

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