News Releases

News Release - Manitoba

November 30, 2018

MANITOBA URGES OTTAWA TO TAKE ACTION TO REDUCE INTERNAL TRADE BARRIERS






Premier Brian Pallister is urging the federal government to take concrete steps to end internal trade barriers and restrictions within its own control, in advance of the upcoming First Ministers’ Meeting in Montreal on Dec. 7.

“Internal trade barriers are a pocket book issue for every Canadian.  They cost approximately $1,500 per family every year.  These barriers need to end and they need to end quickly,” said Pallister.  “Canada is an economic union and free trade is critical to our prosperity.  But markets and investors need certainty.”

The federal government is responsible for trade barriers in a number of areas including:
•    environment and fisheries:  additional regulatory requirements proposed in Bill C-68 and C-69 will drive down investment, compound economic losses in the resource sector, curtail infrastructure investments and sacrifice jobs;
•    Canadian Free Trade Agreement (CFTA) exemptions:  the federal government has more listed exemptions in the area of procurement than any other jurisdiction in Canada;
•    meat inspections:  Ottawa needs to address long-standing regulatory issues created by different and complicated requirements for the processing and sale of meat;
•    food inspection:  new rules under the federal Safe Food for Canadians Act will greatly expand the number of food products under federal regulation and has created significant uncertainty among provincial regulators and local food producers; and
•    energy efficiency standards for home appliances:  federal rules are outdated and do not align with current industry standards in some provinces and the U.S.

Premiers of all provinces and territories have already prioritized meaningful work on trade barrier reduction in provincial areas such as alcohol, occupational health and safety, transportation and business registration.  This work is being led by Manitoba and Nova Scotia, and progress is being made.  Manitoba currently has no personal use limits for alcohol crossing its boundaries and recently became the first province to adopt a new national standard for occupational health and safety equipment.

“The federal government needs to demonstrate leadership on resolving issues within their own areas of responsibility,” said Pallister.  “Bill C-69 also confirms Ottawa doesn’t fully understand the tremendous negative impact of additional regulatory burdens.  Whether it’s a pipeline, a transmission line or a flood relief project, we can’t lose sight of the need for certainty and the importance of secure market access.”

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