Further to my May 11, 2016 testimony and the testimony of others (view post here), today the Senate of Canada, Standing Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce released an extensive report on Canada’s internal (inter-provincial) barriers to trade called “Tear Down These Walls: Dismantling Canada’s Internal Trade Barriers“.
In this report, Senator David Tkachuk, Chair of the committee says:
“Canadians should be able to live, practice their profession or trade, purchase goods and services freely and without penalty anywhere in this great country as a right. To do otherwise makes us less of a country and makes citizens tied to their region rather than their nation.”
Here Are The Top Weirdest Barriers To Trade (In Canada)
Traffic Jam – Part 1:
Some truck configurations must be driven at night in British Columbia — and only during the day in neighbouring Alberta. Insomnia rejoice.
Traffic Jam – Part 2:
Some provinces impose limits on the use of high-tech fuel-efficient tires so truckers have to swap them out at the border. Pit crews not included.
The Grapes of Wrath:
Only British Columbia, Manitoba and Nova Scotia allow direct-to-consumer wine shipments. Meanwhile, provincial liquor outlets charge high markeups.
The Cheese Police:
Quebec’s delicious array of unpasteurized cheeses can’t be shipped outside of the province. Un-brie-lievable.
An Ale-Ing System:
Beer bottle size standards differ across jurisdictions, forcing some brewers to spend money on a parallel production system if they want to sell to other parts of the country.
Size Does Matter:
The size of diary creamers and milk containers differs across jurisdictions, forcing some companies to duplicate production streams.
British Columbia and Alberta have a carbon tax while Quebec and Ontario — and soon Manitoba — have a cap-and-trade system, making it more costly to operate in more than one jurisdiction.
Companies often have to register in every province or territory in which they do business.
A Sticky Situation:
Provincial, territorial and federal standards for maple syrup grades differ. That’s not so sweet.
Organic food standards are different across Canada, therefore limiting access to certain markets. Kale still tastes the same.
This Report should provide the needed push to tear down internal trade barriers in Canada. The removal of internal trade barriers within Canada should have beneficial economic effects.
The Federal Government and Provincial Governments are currently re-negotiating/evolving Canada’s Agreement on Internal Trade. The Senate Report should give Canadian businesses something to consider and further the discussion between business and the negotiators.