Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, is moving forward to accelerate the removal of internal trade barriers to help businesses create jobs and attract investment.
Fedeli has formally signalled Ontario's support to modify the Canadian Free Trade Agreement (CFTA) to allow federal, provincial and territorial governments to independently remove unnecessary restrictions to internal trade. The CFTA has over 100 pages of exceptions that distort and block the flow of trade across the country.
Many of these exceptions are outdated and act as unnecessary barriers for businesses according to a government news release.
"To compete and succeed in today's fast-paced economy, the government must move at the speed of business - that means having the ability to quickly and effectively remove unnecessary burdens and barriers for business," said Fedeli. "This amendment to the CFTA will give federal, provincial and territorial partners the autonomy they need to save time, save money and honour the true intention of the Agreement.
"Ontario, along with Alberta and Saskatchewan, continue to encourage other jurisdictions to join efforts to make Canada Open for Business and take concrete steps to further reduce or remove barriers that obstruct the flow of trade nationwide."
The CFTA requires all parties to provide non-discriminatory treatment for goods, services, workers and investments from other Canadian jurisdictions.
In 2017, Ontario exported $144.6 billion of goods and services to other provinces and territories and imported $108.1 billion, resulting in two-way trade of $252.7 billion and a trade surplus of $36.5 billion.
In the 2018 Ontario Economic Outlook and Fiscal Review, the government promised that it would not stand in the way of a pipeline project that transports oil within Ontario’s borders. Now, Ontario is moving forward with plans to eliminate restrictions on pipeline development in Ontario under the Canadian Free Trade Agreement.
Read the Canadian Free Trade Agreement