There is nothing stopping the provinces from agreeing on accepting each other's teacher's qualification or whatever without a general agreement such as TILMA which has many other features typically ignored in the pro-TILMA rhetoric.
Other provinces may be more concerned with preserving their own freedom of action than reducing it by signing on to TILMA.
Provinces sluggish on free-trade agreement: B.C., Alta.
Last Updated: Friday, July 6, 2007 | 4:52 PM CT
The premiers of Alberta and British Columbia say they're frustrated with delays in getting other premiers to sign on to an interprovincial trade agreement.
Ed Stelmach and Gordon Campbell, both speaking Friday at the end of the western premiers' conference in Iqaluit, said they want the other provinces to agree to the Trade, Investment and Labour Mobility Agreement (TILMA), which both provinces signed last year. It came into effect April 1.
'I think it's time for us to decide whether we're a country or not.'
—B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell"We have to deal with issues that are trade barriers within the country of Canada," Stelmach said. "They're significant, they're impeding trade, they're increasing costs. And we want to take this agreement further and we've had, of course, interest paid by other premiers."
TILMA allows businesses, tradespeople and professionals to work and move back and forth across provincial borders with less red tape.
Under the agreement, businesses in the two provinces don't face duplicate registration requirements, and occupational standards for professionals like engineers and teachers are harmonized. As well, government procurement is more open to suppliers in both provinces.
But some provinces, like Saskatchewan, have expressed concern that by signing on to TILMA, they may lose control over what happens within their boundaries.
Saskatchewan's New Democrat government is concerned the province's Crown corporations could be hurt by the deal, as it would give all companies equal status in applying for government contracts. And just last week, the Opposition Saskatchewan Party announced it would not sign onto TILMA if elected, saying the deal may take away too much power from the provincial government.
Other jurisdictions are concerned that businesses registered in one province may have to be recognized in another.
But Campbell said all provinces identified the free movement of goods, labour and services as an issue more than a decade ago, so he doesn't understand why there's been so little movement in making TILMA a countrywide agreement.
"I'm proud of the fact that we've got TILMA signed between Alberta and British Columbia, and I think it's time for us to decide whether we're a country or not," Campbell said.
"I think it's ridiculous that someone can be trained as a teacher in Manitoba and isn't able to teach in British Columbia."
All of Canada's premiers will discuss the standardized accreditation and mobility of labour at the Council of the Federation meeting next month in Moncton, N.B. At the meeting of the council, which brings together premiers and territorial leaders to deal with "collaborative intergovernmental relations," Campbell and Stelmach said they'll try to convince everybody to consider signing on to the agreement.
All the western and northern premiers ended the Iqaluit meeting Friday with promises to work together on issues such as climate change, education and infrastructure