June 29, 2017 — One of the highlights of my job as your Member of Parliament is working with businesses across Kitchener Centre and helping those businesses grow. Helping businesses with high growth potential scale up was identified by Finance Minister Bill Morneau as key to creating jobs and opportunities for Canadians. That’s why our government has launched the accelerated growth service, a ‘one-stop shop’ for businesses with high growth potential to access all federal support services in one location. This service hub includes government agencies such as Export Development Canada, the National Research Council, and the Trade Commissioner Service of Canada.
Our government also recognizes that growth can be limited by the tangled web of red tape that limits companies from doing business across the country. That is why on Friday April 7, Navdeep Bains, Minister for Innovation, Science and Economic Development, along with his provincial and territorial counterparts, announced the Canadian Free Trade Agreement.
This historic agreement, which takes effect on July 1st – Canada’s 150th birthday – will strengthen our home-field advantage by breaking down trade barriers among provinces and territories. The agreement will open up trade within our own borders in virtually every sector of the economy.
The agreement will benefit our local economy by giving businesses unprecedented access to markets across the country. Companies in our home province of Ontario will now be on equal footing when bidding on government contracts across the country. That’s good for business. It’s good for workers. And it’s good for taxpayers, who can expect more value for money.
The agreement will also work toward cutting red tape to help businesses and professionals across the country. That means streamlining provincial and territorial regulations for the trucking and construction industries, for example. It also means standardizing the way food is labelled across the country. These regional differences in rules can discourage firms from expanding across Canada, which can lead to higher prices and less choice for consumers. As a result of this agreement, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, awarded Minister Bains and his provincial/territorial colleagues its Golden Scissors award for “cutting red tape.”
And while this ambitious agreement is a significant step toward a more open market within Canada, we know there is more work to do. Over the next year, all provinces and territories will work towards liberalizing trade in wine, beer and spirits. A more open market for the sale of alcohol would allow our growing KW craft breweries to sell their products from coast to coast to coast.
I am proud of our Government’s role in negotiating this agreement, which will create more opportunities for local businesses to grow and create more well-paying, middle-class jobs. As a result of this agreement, our community will benefit from a stronger economy. On the eve of Canada’s 150th anniversary, I can’t think of a more fitting way to celebrate.
– Raj Saini, Member of Parliament for Kitchener Centre