OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - June 13, 2013) - The Honourable Christian Paradis, Minister of Industry, today highlighted the Harper Government's ambitious vision for its year as Chair of the Committee on Internal Trade (CIT) at the opening of an internal trade symposium. The event brought together business leaders and academics as well as representatives from federal, provincial and territorial governments.

"Canadians need to be able to do business in every region of the country. Internal trade barriers cost our economy billions every year, a cost Canadians simply cannot afford," said Minister Paradis. "Our government, along with our provincial and territorial partners, will work to eliminate internal trade barriers, harmonize regulations and give businesses the tools they need to grow, compete and create jobs for Canadians."

The Harper Government intends to use its year as Chair to launch a public dialogue about meaningful, long-term and ambitious goals that would result in real improvements for businesses. These will focus on four key elements:

  • real, visible regulatory reform;
  • simplified business registration and reporting;
  • consistency between international and internal trade rules; and
  • removal of barriers that federal rules create unilaterally.

"Canadian business owners from Alberta to Hong Kong have told me internal trade barriers cost them money and jobs. Our government is taking a leadership role by bringing together entrepreneurs, academics and representatives from all levels of government to tackle these issues and create high-quality jobs for Canadians across the country," added the Minister. "Our government has launched the most ambitious trade agenda in this country's history. We are committed to making progress on ensuring consistency between international and domestic trade rules. Borders within Canada should be as open and efficient as our borders with other countries-nothing less."

The Agreement on Internal Trade, which came into effect in 1995, is an intergovernmental accord on interprovincial trade signed by Canada's federal, provincial and territorial governments. The CIT meets annually to review progress on reducing or eliminating barriers to trade, investment and labour mobility. Since 2007, progress has been made on issues such as labour mobility for regulated occupations, freer trade of agricultural products and transparency in government procurement. The outcomes from this symposium will be used to inform the CIT's next annual meeting, chaired by the federal government and scheduled for fall 2013.

Contact Information:

Margaux Stastny
Director of Communications
Office of the Honourable Christian Paradis
Minister of Industry

Media Relations
Industry Canada