The Consumers Council of Canada is pleased to announce it has been awarded support from the Office of Consumer Affairs, Industry Canada, to research ways consumer groups can play a strong role in achieving trade harmonization that will benefit the country’s consumers.
“It’s important that consumer groups take part in the process of interprovincial trade reform as effectively and efficiently as possible,” said Council President Aubrey LeBlanc. “Our research, devoted to the improvement of consumer representation in a reform effort of national significance, will be among the Council’s most important ever. We hope the outcome of the research will reward all Canadians in their roles as both consumers and taxpayers.”
Industry Minister James Moore announced the award along with awards for three other consumer-group hosted research projects. In addition to the Council’s work, Option consommateurs will examine means of improving Canadians’ views on consumer protection safeguards across Canada; Public Interest Advocacy Centre will work with Canadians to determine how a new internal trade agreement could amend the dispute resolution and enforcement regimes to include direct access for consumers; and Union des consommateurs will identify best practices in the European Union and Australia for addressing internal trade barriers and how similar barriers can be broken down in Canada.
The final research reports for these projects are expected in June 2015.
“Eliminating internal trade barriers will create jobs, boost economic growth and lead to more choices for Canadian consumers,” said Minister of Industry James Moore. “While I am encouraged by the progress to date, there is still work to be done to strengthen our national economy and global competitiveness. The contribution announced today will support essential work to show how free trade within Canada will directly benefit Canadians and their families.”