Trade is vital to Canada’s economy and to the well-being of all Canadians. To support economic growth and Canadian prosperity, Canada has committed to an ambitious international trade strategy, and we have been very successful. However, progress on domestic trade has not always kept pace.
At a time when Canada is entering into new trade agreements around the world that seek to eliminate irritants and barriers to international trade, our Government is working here at home to eliminate domestic regulation that leads to increased and unnecessary costs for our businesses, which in turn limits growth and job creation.
Our Government is committed to working with the Provinces and Territories to forge agreement on a path forward and begin the essential work of renewing internal trade, to the benefit of all Canadians. I am confident that we can all agree that as Canada signs on to more international agreements we must ensure that Canadian companies have the same opportunities here at home.
Nearly 20 years ago, the Agreement on Internal Trade came into effect. Our Government will modernize this agreement with our One Canada, One National Economy: Modernizing Internal Trade in Canada strategy, which outlines two potential paths for federal, provincial and territorial partners to advance a modern internal trade framework:
·Targeted reform that addresses priority areas of concern or;
·A complete redesign of the Agreement to bring it in line with recent international trade agreements.
Nearly 40 percent of Canada’s trade occurs within its borders. The creation of a new internal trade barriers index, outlined in Economic Action Plan 2014, will increase knowledge of the barriers to domestic trade and help governments identify priority areas for action.
To find out more about our One Canada, One National Economy: Modernizing Internal Trade in Canada strategy, visit:
The Canadian economy relies heavily on foreign trade for its prosperity and growth. Approximately 60 percent of our GDP and 20 percent of our jobs are directly linked to our ability to freely export our services, goods and resources. Our Federal Government understands that Canada is a trading nation and that is why we have launched the most ambitious pro-trade plan in our country’s history. By increasing trade we will expand our economy, which creates jobs and puts more money into the pockets of hard working Canadians. Canadian workers, businesses, exporters and investors are continuing to gain preferred access, a real competitive edge and greater protection in more markets around the world.
Since 2006, Canada has concluded free trade agreements with 10 countries, including Colombia, Jordan, Panama, Peru, the European Free Trade Association (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland) and Honduras. The recent Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement is Canada’s first free trade agreement in the Asia Pacific. In October 2013 the Federal Government announced an agreement-in-principle on a comprehensive trade agreement with the European Union. This agreement is by far Canada’s most ambitious trade initiative and is broader in scope than the historic North American Free Trade Agreement. The EU, with its 28 member states, 500 million people and annual economic activity of almost $17 trillion, is the largest and most lucrative market in the world. It is also the world’s largest importing market for goods.
Under these agreements, world-class Canadian products will enjoy preferential access to markets around the world and Canadians will have the tools and support they need to succeed in these lucrative markets, boosting trade and strengthening the Canadian economy.
For more information on Canada’s Global Markets Action Plan, the government’s blueprint for trade, please visit the following link:
Canadian family budgets are tight and every nickel is important.We make countless purchases each and every day based on measurement and the Government is determined to protect Canadian consumers from paying more than they should as a result of measurement inaccuracy at the gas station and other places where goods are measured.
To this end, the Fairness at the Pumps Act, which amends the Electricity and Gas Inspection Act and the Weights and Measures Act, came into force on August 1, 2014. This act will protect Canadian consumers against unfair retail practices, ensuring they get what they pay for when purchasing everyday consumer goods such as gasoline and groceries.It will mean greater fairness for consumers by placing more responsibility on retailers to ensure the accuracy of their measuring devices. Retailers will be required to have devices inspected regularly, and they will be subject to hefty fines if they do not comply. If businesses do not do their part to ensure measurement accuracy, they will be held to account.
The new measures:
Introduce mandatory inspection frequencies for retailers and other vendors who use measuring devices (scales, gas pumps, petroleum meters, etc.);
apply to measurement-based financial transactions in the retail petroleum, wholesale petroleum, mining, grain and field crops, dairy, forestry, retail food and fishing sectors;
establish administrative monetary penalties that augment an existing graduated enforcement approach to owners of non-compliant devices; and
bring in hefty fines and penalties for businesses that do not meet measurement accuracy requirements, including court-imposed fines of up to $10,000 for minor offences, up to $25,000 for major offences and up to $50,000 for repeat offences, and introduce a formal penalties system to back up these fines.
These measures are part of the government’s concrete actions to stand up for consumers first.
In keeping a major campaign promise, the Federal Government, in April 2012, received Royal Assent for the bill that eliminated the wasteful and ineffective Long Gun Registry. This registry unfairly targeted law-abiding Canadians, but did nothing to reduce crime or keep guns out of the hands of criminals.
Your Government will always stand up for the rights of law-abiding hunters, farmers and sport shooters and will continue to take action to make our streets and communities safer by getting tough on real criminals.
To this end, in the next session of Parliament we will be introducing the Common Sense Firearms Licensing Act. This new legislation will simplify licensing, eliminate needless red tape for law-abiding gun owners and end superfluous paperwork to lawfully transport firearms. It will require mandatory firearms safety courses for first-time gun owners and strengthen firearms prohibitions for those who are convicted of domestic violence offences.
It will also restrict the ability of Chief Firearms Officers to make arbitrary decisions such as that made recently concerning Swiss Arms and the CZ-858. An Amnesty has been declared for law-abiding owners of the CZ 858 or Swiss Arms family of rifles. This will expire on March 14, 2016, but the Order Declaring an Amnesty Period (2014) will allow owners of the impacted firearms to lawfully use their property.
We will continue with our priority of keeping the public safe, through common sense policies.