The Ontario Election and TILMA
A clear contradiction has emerged in John Toryâ€™s election promises. It reflects an existing tension in the McGuinty governmentâ€™s position.
As noted previously on this blog, the Conservative Partyâ€™s election platform proposes that Ontario join TILMA. As reported in todayâ€™s Globe and Mail, Tory has pledged to require that provincially-funded institutions buy their food and beverages from Ontario producers. Such a policy would definitely violate TILMA, which explicitly bans preferential provincial procurement policies.
While the Liberal platform appears to be silent on TILMA, the last provincial budget committed to “exploring the merits of joining the Alberta-British Columbia Trade, Investment and Labour Mobility Agreement (TILMA).” This agreement would contradict the spirit, if not the letter, of the provinceâ€™s Pick Ontario Freshness campaign.
UPDATE (Sept. 20): The following letter is printed in todayâ€™s Globe and Mail:
A choice of broken promises
John Tory (Tory Pledge: Schools, Hospitals To Buy Local – Life, Sept. 19) proposes to require that provincially funded institutions buy their food and beverages from Ontario producers. The Conservative election platform also proposes that Ontario join the Alberta-British Columbia Trade, Investment and Labour Mobility Agreement (TILMA).Â
Since this agreement prevents provinces from favouring local suppliers, one must ask which of these promises Mr. Tory intends to break.
Erin Weir, economist, Canadian Labour Congress, Ottawa