It’s Time to Get Moving

While Canada has focused on improving international trade, internal trade barriers persist. Improving internal trade could enable seamless domestic flow of goods and services.

Canada’s commitment to international trade enhancement shouldn’t overshadow the persisting hindrances in our domestic trading landscape. While significant efforts have bolstered global trade, internal barriers continue to impede interprovincial commerce.

Streamlining internal trade stands as a pivotal catalyst, potentially elevating GDP growth by up to 8% and fortifying Canada’s economic foundation.*

To position Canada as an attractive hub for business investments nurturing economic progress, it’s imperative to establish a consistent regulatory framework. A concerted effort to dismantle interprovincial barriers becomes instrumental in fostering stability and unlocking substantial economic prospects.

The staggering annual toll of over $14 billion on Canada’s economy emanates from various internal trade impediments: regulatory complexities, geographical constraints, technical hurdles, and interprovincial regulatory disparities. These obstacles curtail market accessibility for businesses, discourage investment, impede economic efficiency, and stifle the seamless circulation of goods and services across the nation. The urgency for a genuinely open Canadian market, inclusive of unimpeded movement of people, goods, and services, has long been overdue.

Considering Canada’s alarmingly low level of economic growth – our GDP is projected to grow by only 1.4% this year and 1.3% in 2024 – we literally can’t afford not to move forward on reducing internal trade barriers.

The time for action is now. We call upon federal and provincial authorities, in collaboration with the private sector and Indigenous communities, to spearhead a robust, pan-Canadian internal trade agreement.

A genuinely open Canadian market, facilitating unobstructed movement of people, goods, and services, is the cornerstone of a competitive national economy.


*MacDonald Laurier Institute. 2022. Liberalizing Internal Trade Through Mutual Recognition.

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