Vive Le Canada

Trade pact would make region more competitive, speaker says
Date: Friday, November 10 2006

Trade pact would make region more competitive, speaker says
ĎNovelí Alberta-B.C. accord useful model, economic council CEO says
By BRUCE ERSKINE Business Reporter

The Atlantic provinces should consider following the lead of Alberta and British Columbia, which recently signed an agreement on trade investment and labour mobility, says Elizabeth Beale, president and CEO of the Atlantic Provinces Economic Council.

"I think this is a very useful model for us to look at here in Atlantic Canada," she said on Monday during the councilís Outlook 2007 conference in Halifax.

"This is something that goes beyond the agreement on internal trade in terms of its commitment to eliminate barriers that impair trade or labour mobility," she said of the B.C.-Alberta agreement, signed in April. "It imposes a requirement for effective dispute settlement, for standards and regulations to be reconciled and for workers to have their qualifications recognized in both provinces. Itís really quite a novel agreement."

In September, the provinces and territories, including Nova Scotia, signed an agreement that will allow certified workers and professionals, ranging from doctors to financial planners, to work anywhere in Canada by April 1, 2009, through the adoption of uniform certification and licensing standards.

The Alberta-B.C. agreement, which also becomes effective in April 2009, is part of a broader pact which erases virtually all trade barriers between the two provinces, although it allows for exemptions in certain sectors, including energy.

Ms. Beale said a similar agreement would help make Atlantic Canada more competitive in the global marketplace.


This article comes from Vive Le Canada

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