Tear down Canada’s interprovincial trade walls

The annual national price tag for maintaining internal barriers may top $130 billion

Tear down Canada’s interprovincial trade wallsInterprovincial free trade, the lowest hanging fruit on the tree of Canadian economic policy, never fails to raise the federal government’s thirst for marvellously empty rhetoric, especially during the toastmaster circuit of every election cycle. So it was earlier this year when New Brunswick’s very own Dominic LeBlanc – minister of Intergovernmental and Northern Affairs…

Barriers to competition hurt Canadians

Government-erected barriers mean firms have few incentives to improve efficiency, cut costs and satisfy consumers

Barriers to competition hurt CanadiansEconomists love competition. They tell students how competition between firms leads to lower prices and greater quality. Beyond the classroom, few dispute the benefits of competition. So why are so many Canadians unaware that governments across Canada shield close to one-third of the economy from competition? When economists speak of competition, they don’t refer only…

Interprovincial trade barriers are a national embarrassment

Studies suggest these constraints cost the Canadian economy up to $130 billion a year. But we can change that

Interprovincial trade barriers are a national embarrassmentBy Sen. Jane Cordy and Sen. Diane Bellemare Canada’s framework for interprovincial trade is patchy at best. While Canada has signed on to free trade agreements with countries around the world, there are significant barriers to the free flow of goods and services within our own borders. Studies have suggested that these interprovincial trade constraints…

Premiers the barrier to free trade within Canada

Our premiers regularly meet to discuss liberalizing trade. Year after year, decade after decade, nothing concrete is ever accomplished

Premiers the barrier to free trade within CanadaBy Marco Navarro-Genie and Alex Whalen Atlantic Institute for Market Studies Opinions vary as to whether the meeting of Canada's premiers in mid-July in St. Andrews, N.B., was a success. The expectations for those hoping for freer trade within Canada were high. But if the expectations were high, they were largely created by some of…

Alberta small business confidence takes slight dip in July

‘Evidently, increased trade uncertainty has taken a toll on Canadian small and medium businesses in July’

Alberta small business confidence takes slight dip in JulyAlberta’s economy may be slowly recovering but there’s still some angst among the province’s small business owners. According to the latest Business Barometer by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, the optimism levels of entrepreneurs took a bit of a dip in July declining 0.7 points to 55.8, one point below the national index of…

Will Trump’s protectionism be the making of Canada?

By blowing up NAFTA, Trump would be forcing Canada to take control of its future once again and commit to building common bonds to preserve our nation's integrity

Will Trump’s protectionism be the making of Canada?It’s ironic that U.S. President Donald Trump's madcap protectionism might do more for Canadian unity than our timid political leaders have accomplished in decades. Ever since the first Canada-United States trade deal in 1988, which started the process of continental economic integration, we Canadians have slowly been distancing ourselves from one another. Worse, we haven’t…

Comeau ruling defies economic – and common – sense

A Supreme Court ruling that there’s no ‘constitutional guarantee of free trade’ will stifle both competition and lower prices for consumers

Comeau ruling defies economic – and common – senseThe Supreme Court of Canada has ruled that provinces have the right to erect interprovincial tariff barriers. That’s bad news for Canadian consumers and the health of the national economy. It is, however, a relief for provinces that for years have allowed fiscal priorities to supersede consumer choice and common economic sense. In 2012, Gerard…

Shove EDC off taxpayers’ shoulders and into the private sector

Canada's export credit agency is good at what it does. But part of that is taking risks with taxpayers’ money. It's time for that to end

Shove EDC off taxpayers’ shoulders and into the private sectorExport Development Canada (EDC) has a big problem – the kind of problem Crown corporations have no business courting. Canada’s export credit agency, EDC loaned Turquoise Hill Resources, a mining company, $1 billion. Unfortunately, Turquoise Hill allegedly transferred a considerable amount of money offshore to minimize the taxes it pays in Canada. EDC’s mission is…

Trade wars, food fights and a budget that ignores it all

Duties may look like attractive, simple mechanisms to protect domestic interests. But they’re a very expensive way to retain jobs

Trade wars, food fights and a budget that ignores it allThe ugly face of protectionism is slowly making its way across the globe. With trade wars looming on several fronts, including in the agri-food sector, Canada's federal government seems resolved to lose. Bill Morneau is obviously an influential figure in Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s cabinet, but he’s no finance minister – despite his title. Given…

Breaking down interprovincial trade barriers

The Supreme Court will hear arguments in the Comeau case this week. The outcome has implications for all Canadians

Breaking down interprovincial trade barriersAs the 150th anniversary year of Canada’s founding draws to a close, a mountain of paperwork is accumulating at the Supreme Court in the case Regina versus Comeau, which is scheduled to be argued on Dec. 6 and 7. Eight provinces and two territories have lined up to fight a New Brunswick court decision that held interprovincial…