A Canadian Free Trade Agreement

June 20, 2019

A Canadian Free Trade Agreement

Confederation is an extraordinary but delicate achievement realized through the tireless work, vision, and cooperation of Canada’s forefathers. In the words of Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer, “confederation was at the time, and remains today, an unlikely and fantastic dream.” Despite the remarkable achievement that is confederation, alienation is on the rise. Provincial governments and Canadians everywhere no longer agree that the federal government has their backs. But Canada’s Conservatives understand that today’s frustrations are a result of the mismanagement of our country by the Liberal Government; in response, Andrew Scheer is discussing the Conservative vision for a Closer and Freer Federation.

Contrary to current events, the federal government should be building bridges and relationships between the provinces, and not picking fights with them. The first step to healing the divides between each province is to recognize that each province is a partner. While the federal government should always seek to create opportunities for Canadians and must exert its jurisdiction when necessary – especially over projects of national interest, Canadian unity depends upon respecting the jurisdiction of each province and municipality. Conservatives understand that local representatives at all levels of government know their communities best and should be trusted to deliver programs and services they see fit. Instead of imposing a carbon tax and fighting provinces in court, the federal government should trust and empower other levels of government.

The best way to build Canada is to nurture and support Western Canada’s natural resources and create jobs for our workers. This requires working collaboratively with each province, but it also means removing barriers. While Canada should always seek out greater international free trade opportunities, it’s disheartening to realize that we don’t even have free trade within our own borders. Interprovincial trade barriers lower competitiveness, prevent businesses from succeeding, and cause prices to soar. Building off the previous Conservative Government’s Canada Free Trade Agreement, it’s time to create an Interprovincial Free Trade Agreement. At this critical moment, when provinces are feeling alienated and divided, Canada needs interprovincial free trade and a national energy corridor, so that Canada can be united.

When Canadians look to the federal government, they should see leaders – leaders that trust the knowledge and expertise of members of the community, and leaders that inspire cooperation and growth. When necessary, those leaders must make hard choices, but those choices should never intrude upon other levels of government or alienate Western Canada. As Andrew Scheer says, “Canada was built on the idea that it is possible to achieve a common prosperity while also preserving local identities of language and belief and self-determination.” While the Liberal Government has failed to keep Canada united, Conservatives know the remarkable bonds and ties that brought Canada together can be replicated and renewed today.