REGINA — The Canadian Construction Association (CCA) is calling on all levels of government to reduce barriers to inter-provincial trade.
The CCA is asking all levels of government to maintain a “free-flowing system of trade and labour mobility between provinces.”
The association emphasized that the free movement of construction materials, services and personnel within Canada is not a key principal of the country, but essential elements for a healthy national economy.
“Some regions have been harder hit economically than others. But the solution is not to reflexively turn inward. Interprovincial trade barriers are inefficient, and do not support fair, transparent and competitive procurement processes,” said Mary Van Buren, president of CCA, in a statement. “When we are facing one of the biggest challenges in our history, it is more important than ever that we stand united and work together.”
The CCA is currently working to convince Saskatchewan officials to begin winding down the province’s “Priority Saskatchewan” policy.
The CCA explained Priority Saskatchewan existed as a buy-local policy in the province’s tendering process, favouring Saskatchewan-based companies by adding automatic points to these firms in the tendering process.
According to the CCA, the policy directly violated the Canada Free Trade Agreement and the New West Partnership Trade Agreement and prevented the free movement of building materials, construction services and workers.
“CCA understands that some regions are harder hit from time to time,” said the association in a statement. “However, protectionism is never the best solution and CCA applauds Premier Scott Moe and the Saskatchewan Government for ending the policy. With U.S. protectionism continuing to be problematic, now is the time for provinces and industries across Canada to work together in our pandemic economic recovery efforts.”