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Unlocking the economic potential of trade

Policy Pillar: Trade and Market Access

The Canadian federation is complex with much variation between provinces in laws, regulations, permits, licences and other rules. Differences impede interprovincial trade flows and labour mobility, increase operational costs, reduce efficiency and limit investment. They also reduce consumer choice and lower Canada’s productivity.

The cost of interprovincial trade barriers is close to 4 per cent of Canada’s gross domestic product, or the equivalent of about $2,000 increased income per person each year.

While the work to reduce interprovincial trade barriers necessarily focuses on provincial regulations, the federal government also has a vital role. As an example, the Red Seal Program, which sets common standards for certification of many skilled trades, was developed by the federal and provincial governments working together with industry. This program provides a framework to allow the workforce to move more freely across provincial borders.

As a trading nation, Canada must also facilitate access to emerging international markets for both traditional and non-traditional industries. We need to build on this success by strengthening global free trade and partnerships, particularly given the supply chain disruptions Canada has experienced over the past year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

From challenge to change

Dismantling trade barriers to facilitate the movement of people and goods is a top priority. The Calgary and Edmonton Chambers of Commerce have developed a series of next steps governments must take to eliminate trade barriers and drive growth:

Choosing a trade-friendly future

This election, we encourage you to dive deeper into the issues that matter and exercise your democratic right to vote. Together, Canadians have the power to choose a future that is prosperous, thriving and connected.

Read our full platform to learn more about our policies and recommendations for facilitating trade and market access, and join the conversation.

Learn more in our full platform