Friday, April 14, 2017

On redundancies

Scott Sinclair offers a useful summary of the latest sop to the anti-regulation lobby in the form of the new Canadian Free Trade Agreement (PDF). And as usual, there's a fundamental problem with any deal which deems public policy to be presumptively invalid to the extent it affects actual or potential corporate profits.

But I'd think it's particularly worth watching what will happen among the provinces who have already agreed to worse deals.

Unlike the New West Partnership Trade Agreement (formerly known as the TILMA), the CFTA does back up the usual spin about harmonizing rather than gutting regulations with processes which might actually encourage provinces to reconcile conflicting rules. And as noted by Sinclair, it avoids the trap of turning trade challenges into corporate windfalls.

With the CFTA in place, it would thus seem that all of the even arguably valid purposes behind the NWPTA have now been addressed at a national level - without some of the most glaring flaws.

So with that in mind, we should ask: is there any purpose to keeping the NWPTA around other than to give corporations multiple ways to attack policymaking at the provincial level? And if not, then isn't it about time to terminate the NWPTA?

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