The Open Caucus, a forum for discussion on issues of national importance, was first established in 2014 when Senate Liberals opened their Caucus doors to the public on Wednesday mornings. The Open Caucus is now co-sponsored by the Independent Senate Liberals, the Independent Senators Group, and the Office of the Government Representative in the Senate. This non-partisan collaboration now brings together three groups representing the majority of the Senate’s current membership.
The discussion is open to all Members of Parliament, Senators, parliamentary staff, media, and the public.
Canada’s framework for interprovincial trade is patchy at best. While Canada has signed onto free trade agreements with countries around the world, there are significant barriers to the free flow of goods and services within our own borders. Studies have suggested that these constraints cost the Canadian economy up to $130 billion every year, and may negatively impact international trade relations.
While federal, provincial and territorial governments signed onto the Canadian Free Trade Agreement (CFTA) in April 2017 with the aim of mitigating interprovincial barriers, requiring provinces to exempt specific goods, services and professions, almost half of the CFTA’s 345 pages are filled with exceptions to the agreement and opt-out measures. In light of this agreement, we ask experts: How have interprovincial trade barriers improved since CFTA was signed? What measures should be taken to further eliminate barriers to trade, investment and labor mobility?
The panelists were:
- The Honourable Perrin Beatty: President and Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce
- Corinne Polhmann: Senior Vice-President, National Affairs at Canadian Federation of Independent Business
- Monique Moreau: Vice-President, National Affairs for the Canadian Federation of Independent Business
- Ian Blue: Senior Counsel at Gardiner Roberts LLP. Lawyer representing Gerard Comeau (R v Comeau 2018 SCC 15)
The meeting took place:
Wednesday October 17, 2018
9:15am – 11:15am
Room 160-S, Centre Block