Canada needs a stronger dispute-settlement system to ensure open interprovincial trade, coalition says

    VANCOUVER, June 9 /CNW Telbec/ - Canada's federal, provincial and
territorial governments should take advantage of this week's meeting of the
Committee on Internal Trade to craft an effective dispute-settlement mechanism
that ensures free and open interprovincial trade, says a national coalition of
ten business, industry and professional associations.
    "Trade barriers hurt all Canadians by damaging our country's productivity
and competitiveness," said Carole Presseault, a spokesperson for the internal
trade coalition. "The time has come for a much stronger commitment to the
principle of open trade -- including, if necessary, binding arbitration to
resolve internal trade disputes and significant monetary penalties."
    Today's statement by the coalition follows the release in April of a
discussion paper calling on all levels of government to cooperate in finding
ways to improve trade, investment and labour mobility in Canada.
    The bold approach recommended by the coalition has four key elements
that, taken together, would eliminate trade barriers that hamper the domestic

    - Federal legislation to establish a set of "open trade principles"
designed to ensure a free and open market, without discriminatory practices;

    - Creation of a standing internal trade tribunal that would be accessible
to all Canadians as a means of resolving internal trade disputes;

    - Implementation of all outstanding rulings by panels established under
the 12- year-old Agreement on Internal Trade; and,

    - An agreement that all tribunal orders and existing panel decisions
would be subject to enforcement by the courts at the option of the disputants.

    The coalition consists of the Canadian Bankers Association, the Canadian
Chamber of Commerce, the Canadian Council of Chief Executives, the Canadian
Federation of Independent Business, the Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters,
the Canadian Petroleum Products Institute, the Canadian Restaurant and
Foodservices Association, the Certified General Accountants Association of
Canada, the Dairy Processors Association of Canada and the Vegetable Oil
Industry of Canada.
    Copies of the coalition's discussion paper, Improving Internal Trade: A
Bold Approach, are available online at

For further information:

For further information: Media representatives who are covering
tomorrow's meeting of the Committee on Internal Trade can arrange interviews
by contacting: Sean McPhee, President, Vegetable Oil Industry of Canada, (416)
970-6878,; Carole Presseault, Vice-President, Government &
Regulatory Affairs, CGA-Canada, (613) 796-0422,

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