The responsibility for reducing barriers to internal trade between the provinces rests mostly with the federal government, Macdonald-Laurier Institute Managing Director Brian Lee Crowley in the Financial Post.
Crowley is quoted extensively in the newspaper’s in-depth article, published this past weekend, that examines the issue of internal trade barriers in Canada.
The article notes that progress on repealing the barriers, despite a comprehensive agreement from the provinces to do just that two decades ago, has been slow.
That’s why, Crowley says, it’s time for the federal government to step in and impose a plan for repealing the amalgam of regulations that make it so difficult for businesses to trade across provincial boundaries.
“As soon as a good or service crosses boundaries between provinces, I think it becomes a federal jurisdiction,” Crowley told the paper.
“This is the job of the federal government to sort out the rules under which things move from province to province… And we’ve been reluctant to use this power. Instead, we’ve asked the provinces to kind of work together to remove a lot of these barriers”, he added.
The Macdonald-Laurier Institute has extensively researched solutions to barriers to internal trade.
In November 2014 MLI released a special edition of Inside Policy, the Institute’s flagship magazine, devoted to examining the issue.
The magazine assembled a slew of articles from ex-politicians, policy experts and business groups examining how internal trade barriers slow down the economy and suggesting methods for a fix.
In October 2014 Crowley released a commentary calling on the federal government to create a charter of economic rights that would compel provinces to respect free trade within Canada.