TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - July 8, 2016) - The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, made the following statement:

"Last fall, our government was elected on a promise to bring a new, positive tone to the federal government's relationship with the provinces and territories. A big part of that commitment focused on reaching a balanced agreement to open up internal trade and make it easier for Canadians to do business.

"Internal trade barriers discourage foreign and Canadian companies alike from investing in Canada, which means we miss out on opportunities to create good-paying jobs for Canadians, attract innovative companies, and grow our economy.

"Today, I am happy to announce that the provinces and territories made a number of breakthroughs that will make a meaningful difference in the lives of hard-working middle-class Canadians. All parties have agreed on a process and timetable for liberalizing the responsible trade in and consumption of alcohol. This is a major step forward-it marks the first time in the country's history that all provincial and territorial governments have agreed to consider mechanisms for liberalizing trade in alcoholic beverages. I'm proud that our government has taken a lead role with our partners to ensure that beer and alcohol are a priority for freer internal trade. It shows what we can accomplish by working together.

"At the same time, our government has worked to strengthen the dispute resolution mechanisms in the existing agreement. This will reconcile the regulations that are currently creating barriers to trade across provinces and territories. We have also successfully established an approach to negotiations that will cover virtually all sectors of the economy. These significant leaps forward ensure that all parties are committed to transparency.

"Thanks to efforts on all sides, we have made significant progress. I am confident that by continuing to collaborate with our provincial and territorial partners, we can make history by promoting free trade in Canada."

Follow Minister Bains on social media.

Twitter: @MinisterISED

Contact Information:

Philip Proulx
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Innovation,
Science and Economic Development

Media Relations
Innovation, Science and
Economic Development Canada