Canada’s premiers announced their commitment to a new, groundbreaking Canadian Free Trade Agreement at the conclusion of their summer meeting in Whitehorse, Yukon, today, July 22.
“This is a historic agreement for Canada and for Nova Scotia,” said Premier Stephen McNeil. “It will lead to greater opportunities for Nova Scotia companies to do business in other provinces and territories, to help our economy grow and create jobs.”
The agreement in principle replaces the current Agreement on Internal Trade, which has been in place since 1995 and enhances trade between provinces and territories. Its achievements include broad coverage of the Canadian economy, reduced regulatory burden and enhanced procurement opportunities.
The agreement also includes the establishment of a working group on alcoholic beverages, which will explore opportunities to improve trade in beer, wine and spirits across Canada.
“This agreement is a result of all the premiers working together to tear down barriers between provinces and territories,” said Premier McNeil. “It’s good news for Canadians and for Canadian businesses.”
Health-care sustainability, infrastructure spending, international trade and immigration were also discussed at the meeting.
“My colleagues and I call on the federal government for an immediate increase in funding through the Canada Health Transfer as part of a great long-term funding partnership on health care for Canadians,” said Premier McNeil.
While Nova Scotia is taking the necessary steps to control health-care costs, the province faces unique demographic challenges on health issues which require increased support from the federal government.