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  • Canada’s Fossil-Fuelled Pensions June 22, 2018
    The British Columbia Investment Management Corporation is?the steward of BC’s public pensions, but bankrolls companies?whose current business models exceed the climate change targets agreed to in the Paris Agreement to which Canada is a signatory. The pensions of over 500,000 British Columbians and assets worth $135 billion are managed by the Corporation—-one of Canada's largest […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Imagine a Winnipeg...2018 Alternative Municipal Budget June 18, 2018
    Climate change; stagnant global economic growth; political polarization; growing inequality.? Our city finds itself dealing with all these issues, and more at once. The 2018 Alternative Municipal Budget (AMB) is a community response that shows how the city can deal with all these issues and balance the budget.
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Why would a boom town need charity? Inequities in Saskatchewan’s oil boom and bust May 23, 2018
    When we think of a “boomtown,” we often imagine a formerly sleepy rural town suddenly awash in wealth and economic expansion. It might surprise some to learn that for many municipalities in oil-producing regions in Saskatchewan, the costs of servicing the oil boom can outweigh the benefits. A Prairie Patchwork: Reliance on Oil Industry Philanthropy […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • CCPA's National Office has moved! May 11, 2018
    ? The week of May 1st, the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives' National Office moved to 141 Laurier Ave W, Suite 1000, Ottawa ON, K1P 5J2. Please note that our phone, fax and general e-mail will remain the same: Telephone: 613-563-1341 | Fax: 613-233-1458 | Email:?ccpa@policyalternatives.ca ?
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • What are Canada’s energy options in a carbon-constrained world? May 1, 2018
    Canada faces some very difficult choices in maintaining energy security while meeting emissions reduction targets.? A new?study by veteran earth scientist David Hughes—published through the Corporate Mapping Project, the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives and the Parkland Institute—is a comprehensive assessment of Canada’s energy systems in light of the need to maintain energy security and […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
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Archive for 'TILMA'

SK Budget: Wherea€?s the Inter-governmental Love?

A hallmark of Brad Walla€?s premiership has been cosy relations with municipal governments and the two westernmost provincial governments. Since taking office, the Sask. Party has been throwing money at municipalities. It pledged not to sign the Trade, Investment and Labour Mobility Agreement with Alberta and BC, but then did so through the New West […]

RIP Joe Kuchta

I join other progressive bloggers in mourning the loss of Joe Kuchta. As CBC reported, his investigative approach to Saskatchewan and Saskatoon politics was widely respected. I drew upon his insights several times in debating the Trade, Investment and Labour Mobility Agreement. Enjoy and share:

TILMA by Stealth in Saskatchewan

The Saskatchewan Party had repeatedly promised not to sign TILMA, but signed the New West Partnership Trade Agreement (NWPTA) last year. At the time, many commentators (including yours truly) noted that the NWPTA was little more than a renaming of TILMA. I see that the official TILMA website is now automatically redirecting to the NWPTA […]

TILMA by Stealth

A month ago, Canadaa€?s federal, provincial and territorial governments volunteered to be directly sued by investors under the Agreement on Internal Trade. This quiet announcement from Brudenell, Prince Edward Island, seems to have gone almost unnoticed. But it is a huge step toward imposing the Trade, Investment and Labour Mobility Agreement (TILMA) on all Canadian […]

livescoreทีเด็ด Barrie McKennaa€?s Three Strikes on Internal Trade

I appreciate a compelling headline, but a€?The Walls that Divide Usa€? in todaya€?s Globe and Mail is way over the top.??For building the myth of a€?internal trade barriers,a€? Barrie McKennaa€?s column should have been entitled, a€?Another Brick in the Wall.a€? Three claims are especially questionable. First, a€?A recent back-of-the-envelope calculation by the Macdonald-Laurier Institute puts […]

Debating Interprovincial Trade

Over at the Macdonald-Laurier Institute, Robert Knox has tried to rebut my rebuttal of his C. D. Howe Institute paper. (I am still waiting for a rebuttal of my rebuttal of his more recent Macdonald-Laurier Institute paper.) Knoxa€?s post sheds light on how his side of the debate sees the issue. But I begin with […]

A Court Challenges Program for Corporate Canada

Brian Lee Crowley used to run the Atlantic Institute for Market Studies. Through the new Macdonald-Laurier Institute, he is now (to paraphrase ZZ Top) not only bad, but also nationwide. So far, the Macdonald-Laurier Institute has released two papers. I missed the first one in March. The second paper, released on Monday, is entitled Citizen […]

Knox on Labour Mobility Barriers

An hilarious aspect of various inter-provincial a€?free tradea€? deals is how proponents struggle to identify the barriers they hope to remove. While there are essentially no a€?trade barriersa€? between provinces, concerns about labour mobility have a whiff of substance. This morning, the C. D. Howe Institute released a paper by Robert Knox on a€?Barriers to […]

New West Partnership

On Friday evening, I was in Kingston listening to a speech by western Canadaa€?s best Premier. The following morning, I awoke to discover a far less coherent op-ed by the other three western Premiers on The Globe and Maila€?s website. They were trumpeting Fridaya€?s unveiling of the New West Partnership. As the Saskatchewan Federation of […]

Ontarioa€?s Labour Mobility Act

Earlier this year, the Ontario government introduced a bill to give legal force to recent Agreement on Internal Trade amendments. The usual suspects – the union movement, the Council of Canadians, etc. – requested public hearings. After months of stonewalling, the government announced on December 1 that there would be one day of hearings on […]

Ivisona€?s Non Sequiturs on Internal Trade

The Council of Canadians organized a set of news conferences across Canada on March 31, the day before TILMA came into force for local governments in Alberta and BC. I was one of four speakers at the Toronto event. There are obviously larger and more important economic issues facing Canada today than interprovincial “free trade” […]

Pear-Shaped Agreement Spotted on Canadaa€?s East Coast

The deal, unveiled yesterday by the Premiers of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, is not actually called PEAR, but PARE: Partnership Agreement on Regulation and the Economy. Like TILMA, it was signed pursuant to Article 1800 of the existing Agreement on Internal Trade to further “liberalize trade, investment and workforce mobility.” Unlike TILMA, it does […]

A stronger economic union?

Everyone’s favourite non-issue came up again at last week’s First Minister’s meeting. The outcome of two amendments to the Agreement on Internal Trade was another bit of “progress”, I suppose (see backgrounder below). As usual, the release offers no details on actual trade barriers that are presumed to exist in Canada. With the long-standing margarine […]

The Financial Crisis and Interprovincial Trade

In Saturdaya€?s Globe, Gordon Campbell ridiculously presented eliminating inter-provincial barriers as a response to the global financial crisis. Although Marc beat me to the punch in replying, I have a few further thoughts. Several months ago, TILMA boosters said that removing alleged barriers to labour mobility was particularly pressing given a “tight” labour market. Today, […]

Dumb ideas for fighting the downturn

The financial crisis and economic downturn have led to some silly ideas, namely, completing the Doha Round of trade talks at the WTO, and in Canada, a variant around eliminating inter-provincial trade barriers. BC Premier Gordon Campbell has pressed for the latter, in spite of scant evidence that any meaningful barriers actually exist (the perception, […]

Premiers on Labour Mobility and Internal Trade

Regarding the Premiersa€? announcement in Quebec City last week, I would reiterate what I wrote a year ago about a very similar federal proclamation by then-Minister of Industry, Maxime Bernier. The main piece of real news is that Premiers have attached financial penalties to the existing Agreement on Internal Trade (AIT): Premiers announced an enhanced […]

The Colour of Margarine in Quebec

As reported yesterday and today, the Government of Quebec has lifted its ban on margarine coloured to look like butter and the provincea€?s dairy farmers do not seem inclined to put up much of a fight. This story has provided excellent fodder for witty headline writers: “Cana€?t believe ita€?s not yellow?” – Globe and Mail […]

Yukon Rejects TILMA

Having travelled north of 60 as part of the Yukon Federation of Laboura€?s campaign against TILMA, I appreciate the territorial governmenta€?s decision to not join the deal. I will again be travelling around Canadaa€?s newest TILMA-free zone and not contributing to this blog during the next couple of weeks. Enjoy and share:

Internal trade hypocrisy

If you have visited this blog before you probably know that Erin Weir and I have it in for bogus arguments about alleged but unproven interprovincial trade barriers. Give us some examples, we say, but the rhetoric of trade barriers always seems to trump any actual evidence. And I’m not even talking about empirical evidence […]

Internal Trade Hypocrisy?

Murray Campbella€?s excellent column in todaya€?s Globe and Mail (excerpted below) accurately portrays the current state of play on the interprovincial trade front, including Steven Shrybmana€?s constitutional challenge of TILMA in Alberta and BC, Saskatchewana€?s continued rejection of TILMA, the Quebec-Ontario negotiations and corporate Canadaa€?s unrelenting push for new powers. One can only hope that […]

TILMA and Medicare

An editorial in todaya€?s Calgary Herald begins with the usual praise for TILMA, but ends by suggesting a new interprovincial deal on healthcare: Yet, for Ottawa to attempt to remedy matters by intruding itself into relations between the provinces would not only provoke reflexive opposition but, even if carried through by force majeure, be unlikely […]

Saskatchewan Rejects TILMA Yet Again

Notwithstanding the newish Saskatchewan governmenta€?s public rejection of TILMA, the Canadian Press recently reported: The [Alberta] premier says Bill 1 will be framework legislation to facilitate a sweeping 2007 trade deal with British Columbia known as the Trade, Investment and Labour Mobility Agreement (TILMA). “We have to move on it,” says Stelmach. “There are other […]

April Foola€?s Day Message from Corporate Canada

On the anniversary of TILMA coming into force, nine national business associations and the professional association representing non-chartered accountants have demanded “bold action” on inter-provincial trade. The press release alleges that “the emergence of new trade barriers threatens to further balkanize the Canadian economy” without naming a single “new trade barrier”. It repeats the unfounded […]

Taking the SPs to Task on TILMA

As Joe Kuchta points out, Saskatoona€?s StarPhoenix (SP) newspaper has essentially reversed its position on TILMA without any acknowledgement that its previous position was mistaken. The other SP, the provincea€?s governing Saskatchewan Party, did the same thing. At least the StarPhoenix printed the following op-ed from Joe: SPa€?s TILMA stance hypocritical Joe Kuchta Special to […]

Jim Prentice’s TILMA Testimony

Last week, Industry Minister Jim Prentice appeared before the?? Senate Banking, Trade and Commerce Committee to make the case for TILMA as a means of overcoming those dreaded interprovincial trade barriers, examples of which, according to the Minister “are legion”. What examples does the Minister cite? Here is what I can find: For example, some […]

Manufacturing TILMA consent

Keith Reynolds from CUPE has done some extensive FOI requests about the BC government’s contracts with the Conference Board of Canada to prop up its push for the BC-Alberta Trade, Investment and Labour Mobility Agreement (see this previous post and also see here, here, here and here for additional background on the Conference Board’s “methodology”). […]

Saskatchewan Rejects TILMA . . . Again

Saskatchewana€?s new Premier, Brad Wall, addressed the Petroleum Club in Calgary on Monday to emphasize his willingness to continue giving away his provincea€?s oil reserves for scandalously low royalties. Several media outlets reported that he also expressed interest in joining TILMA, which he had previously rejected. For example, The Globe and Mail reported, “He mentioned […]

The Globe on TILMA

Ten days ago, The Globe and Maila€?s online edition included an excellent op-ed by Murray Dobbin debunking the notion that supposed inter-provincial trade barriers necessitate TILMA. Unfortunately, The Globe followed it with an editorial endorsing TILMA in Fridaya€?s print edition: How to bulldoze a wall The Globe And Mail Friday, January 18, 2008 Page: A14 […]

Canada-US border delays

“It is often harder to move goods and services across provincial boundaries than across our international borders” October 2007 Speech from the Throne As if Erin Weir and I have not already beat this one into submission, another reminder from today’s Globe and Mail that is it NOT easier to trade across the Canada-US border. […]

Sinclair on Binding Enforcement

Last week, Scott Sinclair released an excellent briefing paper on efforts to attach $5-million penalties to the existing Agreement on Internal Trade (AIT). The debate about interprovincial barriers has become a four-ring circus: TILMA, the Ontario-Quebec negotiations, proposals to amend the AIT, and federal threats to invoke the trade and commerce power. In all of […]