Kenney pledges to drop domestic free trade exceptions

Jason Kenney is taking steps to try to improve trade between provinces.

Alberta’s Premier announced Wednesday that the province will be dropping a number of exceptions to the Canadian Free Trade Agreement.

“While there has been some progress toward free trade within Canada, we need to be more ambitious,” Kenney said in a release. “That is why we’re also extending an invitation to other provinces to join the more trade-friendly New West Partnership Agreement.”

Kenney added the change was part of his government’s plan to improve Alberta’s employment numbers by reducing red tape in trade with other provinces.

The CFTA took effect July 1, 2017 and regulates trade between provinces.

Alberta is targeting 13 specific exceptions in the deal including procurements by the Legislative Assembly, Alberta Utilities Commission and Alberta Energy Regulator.

Exceptions in the CFTA limit or eliminate trade barriers between provinces.

It’s not clear when the amendments to the trade deal will be made official but Kenney pledges that the relevant exceptions will no longer be enforced by his government.