Interprovincial trade is the topic of SSM Chamber of Commerce Town Hall

Terry Sheehan

Members of the Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce were able to hold a town hall with two federal members of parliament today.

MP Terry Sheehan and MP Mona Fortier, Minister of Middle-Class Prosperity and Associate Minister of Finance met with local business leaders and media to talk about ways to assist them and ways the government has already provided help.

One of the ways that was brought up was breaking down the trade barriers between the provinces. Rory Ring the Chief Executive Officer of the Chamber wanted to know the federal government’s plans to help achieve this.

“We agree with the premiers across the country that internal trade must be a priority. And in budget 2019, we took action to facilitate stronger and fair trade between provinces and territories,” said Fortier in response. “We will continue to work with the provinces and territories to protect the health and safety of Canadians and we will continue to look for opportunities to improve internal trade.”

Sheehan noted he is a member of the International Trade Committee and it looks at not just international trade but internal trade.

In his opinion, one of the silver linings of COVID is how well the different levels of government are working with each other. He noted not only trade barriers between provinces but also barriers to apprenticeships that need to be worked on.

“I think there was an opportunity for us to continue to tear down more barriers,” said Sheehan. “When it comes to the movement of labour and training, I think it is very important to make sure that if the focus is big to create those million jobs, there has to be fluid movement of labour in our country, and also recognition.”

The Throne speech highlighted this challenge and if passed will have the federal government continue to work with businesses to help remove barriers and help them build back stronger than before.