Vol. 147, No. 13 — June 19, 2013
SI/2013-66 June 19, 2013
JOBS AND GROWTH ACT, 2012
Order Fixing the Day after the Day on which this Order is made as the Day on which Division 14 of Part 4 of the Act Comes into Force
P.C. 2013-643 June 6, 2013
His Excellency the Governor General in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister of Industry, pursuant to section 306 of the Jobs and Growth Act, 2012, chapter 31 of the Statutes of Canada, 2012, fixes the day after the day on which this Order is made as the day on which Division 14 of Part 4 of that Act comes into force.
(This note is not part of the Order.)
This Order fixes the date on which amendments to the Agreement on Internal Trade Implementation Act (AITIA) that were included as part of the Jobs and Growth Act (i.e. Part 4, Division 14) will come into force.
Building a stronger economic union and eliminating barriers to internal trade is a Government objective. Because implementation of these AITIA amendments along with those of all other AIT signatories, will strengthen the enforcement process of the Agreement on Internal Trade (AIT) and encourage its signatories to respect their AIT obligations, internal trade flows will also be strengthened.
The Agreement on Internal Trade (AIT) was signed in 1994 by the First Ministers of the Government of Canada and all provincial and territorial governments (except Nunavut). The purpose of the AIT is to reduce barriers to internal trade in certain key sectors within Canada. The agreement was criticized for its ineffective dispute resolution process that allowed signatories to ignore dispute resolution panel rulings with impunity. For this reason, federal, provincial, and territorial internal trade ministers on the Committee on Internal Trade (CIT) approved amendments to strengthen the AIT dispute resolution process by incorporating enforceable monetary penalties against governments for failure to bring a noncompliant measure into AIT compliance. Amendments affecting the government-to-government dispute resolution process were included in the 10th Protocol of Amendment (POA) to the AIT approved in December 2008, and those for the person-togovernment process, in the 14th POA, approved in June 2012.
To be effective across the country, each AIT signatory must legislatively implement key amendments within its own jurisdiction. With regard to the 10th POA, all AIT parties, except for Canada and the Northwest Territories, have done so. On the effective date of this Governor-in-Council coming into force order, Canada will not only implement its 10th POA obligations but will also be the first AIT party to do so with regard to the 14th POA.
Federally, the legislative amendments required for implementation of both POAs were included in the Jobs and Growth Act (i.e. Part 4, Division 14 amending the Agreement on Internal Trade Implementation Act) which was given Royal Assent on December 14, 2012. This legislation only affects the federal jurisdiction. With the enactment of this measure, any monetary penalties ordered against the Government of Canada pursuant to the AIT will be enforceable in the same manner as an order of the Federal Court and will be payable from the Consolidated Revenue Fund. The magnitude of a monetary penalty is in proportion to the population of the jurisdiction in question. While the maximum amount for smaller provinces and territories is $250,000, it is $5 million for the five largest jurisdictions (Canada, British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario and Quebec).
This measure will also ensure that Governor-in-Council appointments of panel and appellate panel members correspond to the new qualification criteria. Other minor technical amendments include the repeal of a redundant subsection in the Crown Liability and Proceedings Act and revised definitions and section headings in the Agreement on Internal Trade Implementation Act.
The federal government as well as all provinces and territories (except Nunavut) are signatories to the AIT. As one of 13 signatories, the federal government works in cooperation with provincial and territorial governments to remove internal trade barriers by participating in the ministerial-level Committee on Internal Trade and in various sectoral working groups. Because all AIT decisions are taken by consensus, the successful conclusion of this initiative reflects the joint efforts of all AIT parties.
There are no financial implications for the Government associated with this Order.
While stakeholder input is welcomed by AIT parties, the consensus traditional practice among its signatories is to treat amendment negotiations as private and confidential. Only when AIT amendments come into force (which occurs when the last ministerial signature is added to the amending document) are they made public.
However, during hearings on the Jobs and Growth Act by the Senate Standing Committee on Banking and Commerce, witnesses representing private sector associations expressed their support for the federal legislation but had some concerns about the underlying AIT amendments.
International and Trade Policy