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Harper seeks internal ‘trade’ deal with binding dispute settlement provision

The Globe and Mail reports, “The Harper government is turning its attention to dismantling the protectionist barriers that exist between provinces… Federal Industry Minister James Moore begins a cross-country speaking tour Tuesday to drum up support among consumers, businesses and provincial politicians for efforts to overhaul the 20-year-old agreement on internal trade. His road trip has a six-city itinerary from Vancouver to Halifax with more stops planned for July and August.”

The article adds, “Mr. Moore and his provincial counterparts are gathering in Manitoba in August to try to come up with a new internal trade agreement. …From coast to coast, regardless of whether their partisan affiliation is Liberal, Conservative or NDP, he said, provinces appear ready to deal.”

Notably, the news report highlights, “One of the drawbacks of existing rules on interprovincial trade barriers is what critics have called a toothless dispute settlement mechanism. Mr. Moore said he’d like to see a revised deal include a binding means of settling disagreements between provinces.”

Dozens of groups, including the Council of Canadians, have consistently argued there should be no fines in any dispute under the Agreement on Internal Trade, least of all in disputes brought by investors.

Further reading
Internal trade deal (AIT) adds fines for person-to-government disputes (as requested by Canadian corporate lobbyists)
British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan pursue an expanded TILMA
EU questions ‘interprovincial trade barriers’
Local garbage contract goes to multinational firm because of trade deal
TILMA legislation flouts rule of law, democracy: Shrybman