Federal action to enhance economic competitiveness and improve trade between provinces and territories

From: Intergovernmental Affairs

Federal action to enhance economic competitiveness and improve trade between provinces and territories

News release

Toronto, Ontario (November 28, 2018) – Enhancing trade across Canada helps businesses to grow and compete in new markets, which means more jobs for Canadians and greater choices for consumers across the country.

Today, the Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Intergovernmental and Northern Affairs and Internal Trade, and the Honourable Scott Brison, President of the Treasury Board and Minister of Digital Government, announced federal actions that will improve economic competitiveness and help facilitate more trade between provinces and territories.

The Government of Canada is making the National Building Codes available for free, and is encouraging provinces and territories to align building codes across the country. Building codes make sure that Canadians’ health and safety are protected whenever their homes, places of work and other buildings are built or renovated. Having one set of rules reduces regulatory burden and removes barriers to internal trade in a sector that employs nearly 1.4 million Canadians. Consistently applied, harmonized building will lower costs for the construction industry and make it easier for businesses to bid on contracts across the country.

In addition, the Government of Canada is:

  • Accelerating amendments to the federal Energy Efficiency Regulations for household appliances, so they align with the broader North American market;
  • Clarifying labelling regulations to help food industry produce and market Canadian products;
  • Modernizing meat inspection regulations; and,
  • Standardizing what can be called “vodka” across Canada.

By reducing barriers to business growth and trade, the Government of Canada is helping to create good, well-paying jobs for the middle class and those working hard to join it. Work to reduce barriers to trade between provinces and territories will continue at the First Ministers’ Meeting in Montreal on December 7, 2018.

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“Modernizing the Canadian regulatory system and removing barriers to trade within Canada is vital to boosting our domestic competitiveness and alleviating burdens on businesses. I am thrilled to announce that our government is taking real action to increase trade between provinces and territories and enable businesses to grow.”

– The Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Intergovernmental and Northern Affairs and Internal Trade

“Harmonizing regulations within Canada creates a more competitive domestic market that reduces costs to both businesses and consumers, stimulates our economy and creates more opportunities for middle class Canadians, all while upholding strong protections for Canadians. I look forward to our continued collaboration with provinces and territories as we work together to improve regulatory cooperation and trade across Canada.”

– The Honourable Scott Brison, President of the Treasury Board and Minister of Digital Government

Quick facts

  • Similar initiatives in other countries comparable to Canada (e.g. Australia) in construction GDP, population, regulatory systems, and labour mobility have realized an economic benefit between $500 million and $1 billion annually.

  • Building construction codes used throughout Canada are based on the National Building Codes, developed with the support of the National Research Council of Canada, to provide guidance for building products, design and construction.

  • Internal trade between provinces and territories accounts for almost one-fifth of Canada’s annual GDP, or $370 billion. It also accounts for almost 40 per cent of all provincial and territorial exports.

  • According to the Bank of Canada, the projected economic benefit of removing interprovincial trade barriers is roughly comparable to that of the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA).

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