TILMA in the News
Yesterday and the day before, several newspapersÂ posted the following story about TILMA. Although it is disappointing to read uncritical reporting of the Conference Boardâ€™s $4.8-billion figure, it is good to see the Canadian Press report that “The NDP governments in Saskatchewan and Manitoba have said theyâ€™re not interested in signing on.”
While opponents of TILMA should remain vigilant in Saskatchewan and Manitoba, the next battleground may be Ontario. Yesterday, the Ontario Federation of Labour released an analysis by Steven Shrybman. He demonstrates that the agreement would significantly curtail the provincial governmentâ€™s capacity to act in the public interest without meaningfully improving labour mobility. Shrybmanâ€™s work complements the assessment of TILMA that Marc and I developed on this blog, which focused more on inter-provincial trade than on labour mobility.
Debate heats up over Alta-B.C. trade deal
Deal takes effect April 1
Sunday, February 25, 2007
EDMONTON â€” With a groundbreaking trade pact between British Columbia and Alberta set to take effect April 1, a politically charged debate is heating up over the merits of the deal.
The aim of the Trade, Investment and Labour Mobility Agreement (TILMA) is to cut red tape in both provinces, saving millions of dollars for companies and individuals by harmonizing standards, regulations, licensing and certification.
The NDP governments in Saskatchewan and Manitoba have said theyâ€™re not interested in signing on, and unions fear a watering down of standards for workers covered by the deal, including doctors, nurses, architects, engineers and teachers.
But business groups and conservative politicians say it will provide greater mobility for workers, fewer government subsidies to local firms, and a level playing field between the two provinces for contract bids and job opportunities.
Nancy Hughes Anthony, president of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, says itâ€™s pragmatic.
â€œWeâ€™re looking for trade all around the world and yet we canâ€™t have free trade between our own provinces,â€ she said in an interview. â€œItâ€™s absolutely shocking.â€
A Conference Board of Canada report says the deal will create about $4.8 billion in gross domestic product and generate an additional 78,000 jobs in B.C. alone.
For the full story, click here.