Since 2019, Alberta has been leading all provinces in knocking down barriers to internal trade and labour mobility. In 2019, Alberta eliminated 85 per cent of its exemptions to the Canada Free Trade Agreement, by far the most of all provinces, and passed the Labour Mobility Act to speed up certification of professional credentials for Canadians coming to work in Alberta.
Currently, Canada has a patchwork of thousands of different provincial regulations that hinder businesses and add costs for consumers across the country. Efforts at regulatory harmonization at the Regulatory Reconciliation and Cooperation Table are moving very slowly.
Unilateral or mutual recognition of other provinces’ regulations would be based on the approach taken between Australia and New Zealand, which have agreed to accept each other’s regulations with the ability to exempt some areas.
Alberta is commissioning a research study that will examine mutual regulatory recognition and its potential in Canada.
The Macdonald-Laurier Institute, an independent and non-partisan think tank, has been contracted to conduct the study. MLI was chosen due to its rigor and extensive track record as a champion for free trade within Canada. The report is due to government by September.
“We need to take bold action to cut costs and grow our economy. Mutual recognition of provincial regulations has the potential to be a massive step forward in building a more efficient and prosperous Canada. If foreign countries can do this, why can’t Canada’s provinces?”
The research study will also report on what steps beyond mutual recognition might further liberalize trade within Canada.