CGA-Canada Urges Committee on Internal Trade to Re-think Regulation of Domestic Trade

    OTTAWA, June 4 /CNW Telbec/ - On the eve of the federal, provincial and
territorial trade ministers meeting, the Certified General Accountants
Association of Canada (CGA-Canada) issues its report, It's Time to Move on
from the Agreement on Internal Trade! In the report, CGA-Canada urges
governments to re-think their approach to regulating domestic trade.
    We propose a new approach based on an "open trade principle" whereby no
government will maintain measures that restrict or impair interprovincial
trade, investment and labour mobility unless these measures are necessary to
achieve a legitimate purpose.
    "Canada needs a productive and competitive marketplace to achieve its
full economic potential", said Anthony Ariganello, CPA (Delaware), FCGA,
President and Chief Executive Officer of CGA-Canada. "An open, efficient and
stable domestic market is necessary to accomplish that goal."
    CGA-Canada supported Canadian governments' initiative to negotiate the
Agreement on Internal Trade (AIT) that came into force in 1995. Subsequently,
we used the AIT to ensure access to public accounting for CGAs across the
country. Now, most restrictions on public accountants have been removed or are
in the process of being resolved. However, CGA-Canada found the dispute
resolution mechanism of the AIT weak and without consequences.
    CGA-Canada also produced three papers on the AIT and domestic trade:
Canada's Agreement on Internal Trade: It Can Work If We Want It To, Governance
in the Agreement on Internal Trade in collaboration with the KTA Centre for
Collaborative Government and Making Trade Dispute Resolution in Canada Work.
    "After 10 years of experience with the AIT, we believe that the AIT is
fundamentally flawed and there is little to be accomplished by tinkering with
it as a basis for a more open and efficient Canadian domestic market," added

    Governments should take a new approach to regulating domestic trade and
undertake to:

    -  adopt an "open market standard" whereby any measure that restricts or
       impairs trade, investment and labour mobility is unacceptable;
    -  establish an independent "trade tribunal" to receive, mediate and
       adjudicate complaints concerning government measures that restrict and
       impair trade, investment and labour mobility; and
    -  establish, by mutual agreement, a Council of Ministers on Canada's
       Domestic Market to monitor the openness and efficiency of Canada's
       domestic market and to identify issues that need to be resolved in
       order to improve its effectiveness.

    CGA-Canada calls on the federal government, who has a clear
constitutional responsibility for interprovincial trade, to take an active
role in establishing the "open trade principle" as Canada's standard and
facilitate its adoption by establishing the national trade tribunal. "We do
not believe it is possible for Canada to develop an open and efficient
domestic market without the federal government's leadership and
participation", concluded Ariganello.

    CGA-Canada's report can be read at

    About CGA-Canada

    CGA is the fastest-growing accounting designation in Canada. The CGA
designation focuses on integrity, ethics and the highest education
requirements. Recognized as the country's accounting business leaders, CGAs
provide strategic counsel, financial leadership, and overall direction to all
sectors of the Canadian economy.
    The Association sets standards, develops education programs, publishes
professional materials, advocates on public policy issues, and represents CGAs
nationally and internationally. The Certified General Accountants Association
of Canada represents 68,000 CGAs and students in Canada, Bermuda, the
Caribbean, Hong Kong, and China.

For further information:

For further information: Taylore Ashlie, Director, Communications,
CGA-Canada, (604) 605-5055, Cell: (604) 307-0212,

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