~ Strengthen person-to-government dispute resolution process ~
VANCOUVER and OTTAWA, June 7, 2012 /CNW/ - As the Committee on Internal Trade (CIT) ministers gets set to meet next week, a group of Canadian business and professional associations is recommending improvements to the Agreement on Internal Trade (AIT). The national associations support the committee's earlier work to improve the AIT's person-to-government dispute resolution process, and encourage it to go further. The committee meets in Yellowknife on June 14.
In a letter to the CIT, the associations note that Canada's current focus on increasing international trade through negotiated trade agreements creates an urgent need to address barriers to interprovincial trade. A strong economic union is an important pre-condition for international trade agreements and an effective AIT is an essential tool for ensuring such a union.
The associations agree that federal, provincial and territorial governments have made significant improvements to the AIT over the years, but the work is unfinished. In particular, they recommend that the committee consider a much-strengthened person-to-government dispute resolution mechanism. Ideally, this mechanism should mirror the recent improvements to the government-to-government dispute resolution process. It should also include monetary penalties and the removal of dispute resolution privileges in situations of continued non-compliance.
The proposed amendments would make the resolution of trade disputes more accessible, effective and less expensive for individuals, businesses and organizations across the country.
Signatories to the letter include the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB), the Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters, the Certified General Accountants Association of Canada (CGA-Canada), the Dairy Processors Association of Canada, and the Vegetable Oil Industry of Canada.
For more on the recommendations, read the Open Letter to the Committee on Internal Trade.
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