Industry Canada

Industry Canada

July 04, 2014 14:30 ET

Minister Moore In Kelowna to Discuss Removing Barriers to Internal Trade

Highlights importance of open and efficient domestic trade for Canadian businesses and consumers

KELOWNA, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - July 4, 2014) - Industry Canada

Industry Minister James Moore was in Kelowna today as part of a national tour to engage businesses, consumers and everyday Canadians on the government's plans to break down the barriers to trade within Canada that cripple the national economy and hurt Canadian consumers and businesses.

Minister Moore, in his address at the Gray Monk Estate Winery, championed Canada as a free-trading nation yet described how progress on trade within Canada has not kept up with the success of our international trade agreements. The Minister reinforced that it should not be easier to trade with our international partners than within our own borders. In particular, he highlighted the Harper Government's plans to work with the provinces and territories in examining a rewrite of the antiquated Agreement on Internal Trade to bring it in line with the current global economic reality. Eliminating barriers to internal trade and reducing red tape mean that goods and services could more easily move across Canada, creating jobs and boosting the economy.

Minister Moore also held a roundtable with local business leaders. They discussed regional internal trade issues, such as moving wine across provincial borders. This is an issue for wineries, including those in British Columbia, because the rules allowing Canadians to import directly from out-of-province wineries are not consistently aligned across the country. According to the B.C. Wine Institute, British Columbia allows consumers to order and have shipped directly 100-percent Canadian grape wine from other provinces for their personal consumption but does not receive the same treatment in return.

Quick facts

  • The Agreement on Internal Trade (AIT) is an intergovernmental accord on trade within Canada that aims to break down the crippling barriers to trade that hurt our economy.
  • When the AIT came into effect nearly 20 years ago, Canada had concluded trade agreements with only two countries. Since then, Canada has concluded free trade agreements with 38 countries that make up nearly half the global marketplace.
  • Nearly 40 percent of Canada's trade occurs within Canada's borders.
  • The creation of a new internal trade indicator, outlined in Economic Action Plan 2014, will increase knowledge of the barriers to domestic trade and help governments identify priority areas for action.

Quotes

"The ambitious internal trade agenda our government is pursuing will bring the Agreement on Internal Trade up to date with our new economic reality. We are focused on ensuring trade within Canada is as open and efficient as trade with other countries. It's time to move forward and build a stronger, more open Canada where small businesses can flourish across our domestic market. As Minister Responsible for British Columbia, I value this important dialogue to ensure that our province has the opportunity to contribute fully to the national economy. Today's conversations in Kelowna are an important step in moving forward on this issue."

- The Honourable James Moore, Minister of Industry and Minister Responsible for British Columbia

"Our government's goal is to build a more open Canada where small businesses in Kelowna-Lake Country and across the nation can flourish across our domestic market. It is clear from today's discussion that consumers and businesses share our vision. Modernizing the AIT will help make this vision a reality."

- The Honourable Ron Cannan, Member of Parliament for Kelowna-Lake Country

"Gray Monk Estate Winery prides itself on producing high-quality 100-percent Canadian made wines. We applaud the decision of the federal government to pass Bill C-311, allowing the sale of wine across Canada without restriction. While this has been a great step forward, after two years only a few provinces have followed through. Restrictions by most provincial jurisdictions still limit our ability to provide our wines to Canadian consumers. We fully support and will collaborate with all wine industry proponents looking to work together to allow the open and unencumbered sale of Canadian wines to all Canadian consumers. We welcome the opportunity to further this process by hosting Minister Moore's roundtable discussion."

- Robert Heiss, Chief Operations Officer, Gray Monk Estate Winery

Follow @industrycanada on Twitter and use #internaltrade to let us know how internal trade is affecting your business.

Contact Information

  • Jake Enwright
    Press Secretary
    Office of the Minister of Industry
    613-995-9001

    Media Relations
    Industry Canada
    613-943-2502
    media-relations@ic.gc.ca