Ministers LeBlanc and Brison welcome progress on trade between provinces and territories

News release

July 20, 2018, Ottawa, Ontario - The Government of Canada today applauded progress on reducing barriers to trade between provinces and territories, and reaffirmed its commitment to working together to accelerate progress in breaking down barriers to trade within Canada.

The Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Intergovernmental and Northern Affairs and Internal Trade, welcomed today’s announcement by the Council of the Federation that provinces and territories have agreed in principle to significantly increase the amount of alcohol that individuals can bring with them for personal use when crossing provincial/territorial boundaries.

Minister LeBlanc also recognized this important step forward as a key outcome of the collaborative efforts between the Government of Canada and the provincial and territorial governments. He noted that while this is a good step forward, more can be done by the provinces and territories to enhance trade in alcoholic beverages within Canada, including expanding direct-to-consumer sales of alcohol across the country.

The Honourable Scott Brison, President of the Treasury Board and Minister of Digital Government, in his capacity as Minister responsible for coordinating Canada’s domestic and international regulatory cooperation efforts, highlighted the release of a two-year work plan to reconcile regulatory barriers to trade between provinces and territories. The work plan, developed by the Canadian Free Trade Agreement’s Regulatory Reconciliation and Cooperation Table, identifies 23 items for action, including reconciling occupational health and safety regulations and harmonizing weight and size restrictions in the trucking sector.

The Government of Canada showed particular leadership in reducing regulatory barriers, and has already completed two of the 23 items on the work plan, which will come into force through the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations on January 15, 2019:

  • The scope of products that can be labelled with the Canada Organic Logo will be expanded to include aquaculture products.
  • Inspection requirements for apples, potatoes and blueberries that apply only to those products when produced in certain provinces will be repealed. 


“When goods can travel freely across provinces and territories, it makes it easier for businesses to grow and succeed at home. This leads to a stronger economy, creates more jobs, and allows Canadians to benefit from more choices and better prices. I am pleased with the initial progress of this new federal-provincial-territorial forum, and glad to announce early federal successes in removing regulatory barriers to trade across the country. I look forward to making further strides to improve trade between provinces and territories from coast to coast to coast.”
– Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Intergovernmental and Northern Affairs and Internal Trade

Reducing regulatory barriers benefits both businesses and consumers by promoting investment, lowering the price of consumer goods and creating more opportunities for middle-class Canadians. I look forward to continuing to work with our provincial and territorial partners to eliminate unnecessary regulatory barriers to trade across Canada.” 
– Scott Brison, President of the Treasury Board and Minister of Digital Government

Quick facts

  • The Canadian Free Trade Agreement (CFTA) establishes free trade rules that apply across the Canadian economy. Rules apply automatically to all economic activity unless something is specifically excluded.

  • The Committee on Internal Trade (CIT), is a ministerial federal-provincial/territorial committee that oversees the overall implementation of the CFTA.

  • Internal trade between province and territories accounts for just under one-fifth of Canada's annual GDP, or $370 billion. It also accounts for almost 40 per cent of all provincial and territorial exports.

  • According to the Bank of Canada, removing interprovincial trade barriers could add up to two-tenths of a percentage point to Canada’s potential output annually. This is roughly comparable to the projected economic benefit from the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA).

  • The CFTA replaced the Agreement on Internal Trade (AIT) on July 1, 2017.

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