Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities Association opposes TILMA

The Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities Association (SUMA) Board of Directors held its quarterly meeting on March 23-24 in Regina. On the agenda was the BC-Alberta Trade, Investment and Labour Mobility Agreement (TILMA). Among the meeting highlights posted on the SUMA website was a stunning motion to oppose Saskatchewan's involvement in the agreement:

"SUMA Policy and Communication Services presented a draft report on the Trade, Investment and Labour Mobility Agreement. Based on the information, the board of directors has several concerns about the potential impact for urban municipalities. A motion was passed that SUMA oppose Saskatchewan’s involvement in this agreement. However, should the province choose to begin negotiations to sign the agreement, then SUMA strongly believes that urban municipalities need to be at the negotiation table as an order of government. If this request is not supported by the province, then urban municipalities will demand a full exemption from the agreement."
The Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities Association is a federation of urban governments, which, through strength in unity, advocates, negotiates and initiates improvements in local, provincial and federal legislation, programs and services to enhance urban life in Saskatchewan.

Membership in SUMA is voluntary and is open to cities, towns, villages, resort villages, northern villages and northern hamlets. SUMA’s membership represents approximately 75% of the Saskatchewan population.

The conservative opposition Saskatchewan Party supports TILMA. In an August 4, 2006, news release Economic Development Critic Lyle Stewart said a Saskatchewan Party government would seek a similar agreement with other western provinces.

One can only hope that this never comes to pass.


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