Main menu:

Posts by Author

History of RPE Thought

Posts by Tag

RSS New from the CCPA

Progressive Bloggers

Meta

Recent Blog Posts

Recent Blog Comments

The Progressive Economics Forum

Archive for 'TILMA'

SK Budget: Where’s the Inter-governmental Love?

A hallmark of Brad Wall’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.

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, Canada’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 […]

Barrie McKenna’s Three Strikes on Internal Trade

I appreciate a compelling headline, but “The Walls that Divide Us” in today’s Globe and Mail is way over the top. For building the myth of “internal trade barriers,” Barrie McKenna’s column should have been entitled, “Another Brick in the Wall.” Three claims are especially questionable. First, “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.) Knox’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 “free trade” deals is how proponents struggle to identify the barriers they hope to remove. While there are essentially no “trade barriers” 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 “Barriers to […]

New West Partnership

On Friday evening, I was in Kingston listening to a speech by western Canada’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 Mail’s website. They were trumpeting Friday’s unveiling of the New West Partnership. As the Saskatchewan Federation of […]

Ontario’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 […]

Ivison’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 Canada’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 Saturday’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 Premiers’ 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 province’s dairy farmers do not seem inclined to put up much of a fight. This story has provided excellent fodder for witty headline writers: “Can’t believe it’s not yellow?” – Globe and Mail […]

Yukon Rejects TILMA

Having travelled north of 60 as part of the Yukon Federation of Labour’s campaign against TILMA, I appreciate the territorial government’s decision to not join the deal. I will again be travelling around Canada’s newest TILMA-free zone and not contributing to this blog during the next couple of weeks.

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 Campbell’s excellent column in today’s Globe and Mail (excerpted below) accurately portrays the current state of play on the interprovincial trade front, including Steven Shrybman’s constitutional challenge of TILMA in Alberta and BC, Saskatchewan’s continued rejection of TILMA, the Quebec-Ontario negotiations and corporate Canada’s unrelenting push for new powers. One can only hope that […]

TILMA and Medicare

An editorial in today’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 government’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 Fool’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, Saskatoon’s StarPhoenix (SP) newspaper has essentially reversed its position on TILMA without any acknowledgement that its previous position was mistaken. The other SP, the province’s governing Saskatchewan Party, did the same thing. At least the StarPhoenix printed the following op-ed from Joe: SP’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

Saskatchewan’s new Premier, Brad Wall, addressed the Petroleum Club in Calgary on Monday to emphasize his willingness to continue giving away his province’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 Mail’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 Friday’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 […]