How Can The Government Promote Free Trade Around The World When We Don’t Even Have Free Trade Between Provinces?

Canadians can’t even bring cheaper beer across provincial borders, so how can the government be promoting free trade around the world?

A while back, I wrote about an outrageous Supreme Court decision that “upheld an absurd fine imposed by New Brunswick against Gerard Comeau. Comeau’s ‘error’?  Buying cheap alcohol from another province. For that, Comeau was fined for ‘violating’ New Brunswick’s statist liquor monopoly, meaning he’ll have to pay money to the government in order to uphold a monopoly he already pays for through his taxes.”

The ruling was just the latest of many examples showing how Canada doesn’t have free trade between Canadian provinces.

In many cases, it’s easier for provinces to trade with US States or other countries than it is to trade province to province.

And yet, even as we lack free trade within our own country, the government is posturing about supporting free trade around the world.

While much of the foreign press hasn’t pointed out the hypocrisy, here in Canada we need to ask why our country is focused on ‘free trade’ with other nations when we can’t even trade freely at home?

Internal trade barriers take money out of the pockets of Canadians, and weaken our domestic economy. Ironically, this makes us much more reliant on foreign trade, which makes us far more vulnerable to other countries. If the federal government really wanted us to be able to withstand trade shocks, then having real free trade within Canada would be the place to start, rather than virtue-signalling about it around the world.

Spencer Fernando

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