Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Changes sought to interprovincial trade

Agenda item for first ministers meeting

  • Print
Brian Pallister

WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Enlarge Image

Brian Pallister Photo Store

Manitoba should join other western provinces in a push to remove trade barriers between provinces, such as needless red tape, Opposition Leader Brian Pallister said Wednesday.

"Manitoba is a trading province and every opportunity that we have to do business with our neighbours in an east-westerly direction is a good thing for our economy," he said.

Western premiers, led by Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall, want a national free-trade deal to replace the 20-year-old Agreement on Internal Trade (AIT).

Pallister said the three premiers, members of what's called the New West Partnership, signed a letter to Premier Greg Selinger last week to promote a new free-trade partnership that would lessen interprovincial restrictions on job mobility and the movement of goods.

"We could even further diversify our province's economy with the opportunities that we can achieve through better trade, more open trade with our neighbours," Pallister said, adding some small-business owners have told him it's easier to do business in the United States than with other provinces.

"That reality can't continue to exist in a modern Manitoba," he said.

Jobs and Economy Minister Theresa Oswald was unavailable to comment Wednesday.

However, Housing Minister Peter Bjornson, the former entrepreneurship, training and trade minister, said Manitoba is already involved in the effort to remove trade barriers.

He pointed out Oswald is the chairwoman of the committee on internal trade representing all provinces and territories at the negotiating table with the federal government.

Bjornson said there is full mobility for more than 280 professions for people coming to Manitoba under changes made by the province under the AIT during the past few years.

"Mr. Pallister's vision is somewhat dated if you're looking at sub-regional trade agreements over national trade agreements," Bjornson said.

The federal government says nearly 40 per cent of Canada's trade occurs within its borders and the creation of a new internal trade plan, outlined in the Harper government's economic action plan 2014, would identify barriers to domestic trade.

Some estimates say internal trade barriers cost Canada's economy as much as $50 billion a year.

The premiers are to discuss Ottawa's plan at the first ministers meeting in Charlottetown next month.

 

bruce.owen@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 17, 2014 A14

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Wasylycia-Leis says Bowman and Ouellette ran a good campaign

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A young goose   reaches for long strands of grass Friday night near McGillvary Blvd-See Bryksa 30 Day goose challenge- Day 19 - May 23, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • Geese fly in the morning light over Selkirk Ave Wednesday morning- Day 22– June 13, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Do you support Pimicikamak First Nation's protest against Manitoba Hydro?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google