Ontario-Quebec Trade and Cooperation Agreement: a particularly welcome

MONTREAL, Sept. 30 /CNW Telbec/ - The Ontario-Quebec Trade and Cooperation Agreement that comes into effect on October 1 is especially welcome because of the trade opening dynamic it creates, says an Economic Note published today by the Montreal Economic Institute (MEI).

According to David Descôteaux, an economist at the MEI and the document's author, the Ontario-Quebec Agreement "is a courageous approach given the protectionist reflex that often comes to the fore in difficult economic times." He explains that the Ontario-Quebec Agreement aims to facilitate trade between the two provinces, promote labour mobility, strengthen economic cooperation and work toward better regulatory harmonization. Once trade barriers are removed, companies become more productive and more innovative thanks to competition and to the lower cost of doing business.

The author provides a reminder that, despite extensive integration, a number of irritants still stand in the way of full economic fluidity between the two provinces. Also, two recent studies, from the OECD and the IMF, urge Canada to eliminate obstacles to interprovincial trade so as to improve the country's productivity and foreign investors' perceptions. Unfortunately, the Ontario-Quebec Agreement still contains many exceptions. Mr. Descôteaux says a deal inspired by the Trade, Investment and Labour Mobility Agreement (TILMA) between British Columbia and Alberta would have been far more effective.

Still, MEI president Michel Kelly-Gagnon believes that "this strategy consisting of setting out a new economic space for Quebec, in particular by liberalizing trade with Ontario and Europe, could prove over time to be one of the finest initiatives taken by the Charest government."

The four-page Economic Note, titled The Ontario-Quebec Trade and Cooperation Agreement, is available free of charge at www.iedm.org

The Montreal Economic Institute (MEI) is an independent, non-profit, non-partisan research and educational organization. Through studies and conferences, it informs public policy debates in Quebec and Canada by suggesting wealth-generating reforms based on market mechanisms.

SOURCE Montreal Economic Institute

For further information: For further information: and interview requests: André Valiquette, Montreal Economic Institute, (514) 273-0969 ext. 2225, Cell: (514) 574-0969, avaliquette@iedm.org

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