Wednesday, August 01, 2007

TILMA: Saskatchewan officially says "NO" to reckless, destructive BC-Alberta trade agreement

News Release – August 1, 2007


Government Relations Minister Harry Van Mulligen announced today that Saskatchewan is committed to improving internal trade (the movement of goods, services, investment and labour across Canada) through a number of steps, such as working with other provinces and territories to strengthen the national Agreement on Internal Trade (AIT).

The announcement came in response to a report from the Standing Committee on the Economy, which conducted public consultations to determine the state of internal trade in Saskatchewan. These public consultations included discussion on the Trade, Investment and Labour Mobility Agreement (TILMA) signed by the governments of Alberta and British Columbia.

"Saskatchewan ranks second in the nation when it comes to the contribution internal exports make to provincial income," Van Mulligen said. "After careful study, the government has concluded that the Trade, Investment and Labour Mobility Agreement is not for Saskatchewan. We remain committed to the economic prosperity agenda outlined in the last Throne Speech and will focus on building upon our strong internal trade through other means."

The Standing Committee's report confirmed what several previous surveys and reports have said: that the most important internal trade problem identified by Saskatchewan's business community is the existence of ‘nuisance' or non-policy-related differences in regulations and standards between provinces that are costly to comply with and that can create economic inefficiencies that make firms less productive and competitive.

To address those regulatory issues that the Committee identified as important to Saskatchewan's interests, the provincial government will be asking six joint government-stakeholder working groups to develop solutions within the framework of the Government of Saskatchewan's Regulatory Enhancement Strategy.

The joint working groups will focus on the following areas; Transportation, Corporate Registration, Financial Services, Renewable Energies, Agriculture and Labour Mobility. The specific mandates, structures and compositions of these joint working groups will be developed and announced in the coming weeks. They will be required to report progress to Cabinet and the public on a regular basis.

In addition, Saskatchewan will seek to improve the Agreement on Internal Trade (AIT) by enhancing its dispute resolution process, ensuring full labour mobility of regulated professions and trades, adding a new energy chapter, addressing ‘nuisance' differences in regulations and standards in priority sectors and by expanding the scope of its coverage incrementally. The province will also explore new opportunities for trade collaboration with neighbouring provinces and U.S. states.

"We are certain that the changes we make to improve internal trade will ensure Saskatchewan remains the best place in Canada for young people and families to build strong futures," Van Mulligen said.

For more information on internal trade in the province, go to


For more information, contact:

Mark Claxton
Government Relations
Phone: 306-787-6156
Cell: 306-535-1307


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