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Ontario Works with Provinces, Territories and the Federal Government to Strengthen Internal Trade

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Ontario Works with Provinces, Territories and the Federal Government to Strengthen Internal Trade

Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade working to reduce barriers for businesses through the Canadian Free Trade Agreement

HALIFAX—Todd Smith, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, promoted Ontario's open for business and open for jobs mandate at the 2019 Committee on Internal Trade meeting in Halifax. During the meeting, progress was made on a number of important trade-enhancing initiatives currently being pursued under the Canadian Free Trade Agreement (CFTA). Smith encouraged provinces, territories and the federal government to join Ontario in its ambitious plan to eliminate unnecessary barriers to business and expand the flow of trade across the country.

"Ontario is the economic engine of the nation, exporting $145 billion in goods and services across Canada" said Smith. "We have a mandate to boost Ontario's competitiveness and will use every tool at our disposal to ensure our businesses have access to markets and consumers alike. Our government stands shoulder to shoulder with our businesses and workers, and will make sure they have every opportunity to compete and succeed within our borders and beyond."

During the meeting, Smith encouraged his counterparts to join Ontario in its pledge to reduce unnecessary regulations and burdens imposed on businesses. This includes joining a process to narrow or eliminate trade-distorting policies that are currently protected under the CFTA.

Ontario is already showing leadership in enhancing and strengthening internal trade by:

  • Actively taking steps to amend its exceptions for energy in the CFTA to support the development of pipelines in the province, and to ensure abundant and affordable access to energy for Ontarians. 
  • Leading the negotiation of new rules within the CFTA for the financial services sector to ensure that Ontario's financial services firms do not face unnecessary barriers when operating across Canada.

In addition to driving progress under the CFTA, Ontario has committed to working with provincial partners to take action on the issues that matter most, including cutting needless red tape and meaningfully increasing interprovincial trade.

Quick Facts

  • Ontario’s jobs are the most export-reliant in Canada with 1 in 5 workers, or 1.3 million people, dependent on exports.
  • In 2017, Ontario exported approximately $145 billion in goods and services to other provinces and territories.
  • On October 29, 2018, Ontario and Saskatchewan signed a Free Trade Memorandum of Understanding.
  • On November 29, 2018, Premier Ford and Premier Legault of Quebec committed to strengthening trade ties between Ontario and Quebec.

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