Published On: Thursday, 07 December 2017

Supreme Court Case Challenges Inter-Provincial Trade Barriers

Supreme Court Case Challenges Inter-Provincial Trade Barriers
CFIB and the Canadian Chamber are interveners in a Supreme Court case dealing with inter-provincial trade.

CFIB is Canada’s largest association of small and medium-sized businesses with 109,000 members across every sector and region.

- The Canadian Chamber of Commerce helps shape public policy and decision-making to the benefit of businesses, communities and families across Canada with a network of over 450 chambers of commerce and boards of trade, representing 200,000 businesses.

CANADA - The Supreme Court of Canada will hear a case this week which could significantly break down unnecessary barriers to the trade of goods and services throughout the country, says the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB).

The Chamber and CFIB are both interveners in the R vs Comeau case, which arose after a New Brunswick retiree, Mr. Comeau, was fined for purchasing alcohol in Quebec and transporting it over the border between the two provinces. He challenged the fine and won. The province appealed the case to the Supreme Court.

It is a sad commentary that 150 years after Confederation, costly internal barriers often make it easier for Canadian businesses to import goods from abroad than from another province, says the Hon. Perrin Beatty, President and CEO of the Chamber.

Beatty said the restrictions put in place by provincial governments drive up costs, limit consumer choice, and make it harder for companies to secure the skilled workers they need. He added it is time to finally achieve the dream of the Fathers of Confederation, which was to have a prosperous country free of economic barriers.

Corinne Pohlmann, Senior Vice-President, National Affairs at CFIB said hundreds of thousands of small and medium-sized businesses still struggle to grow their business across Canada under similar outdated constraints. While Canada is engaged in global trade talks, the county also needs to enhance free enterprise within the country.