Feb. 24, 2009
HALIFAX (CNB) - An agreement has been signed by Premier Shawn Graham and Nova Scotia Premier Rodney MacDonald to strengthen the economies of both provinces by reducing barriers to business, trade and skilled labour.
"This agreement is about co-operation between the two provinces and systems - and projects that will help us spend taxpayers' dollars more efficiently and provide better services to citizens," Graham said. "As the list of co-operative ventures grows, we will start to see more and more common rules for both provinces, reducing the administrative time taken to understand and comply with the differences. These are important steps on our road to a self-sufficient province."
The premiers signed the Partnership Agreement on Regulation and the Economy in Halifax this morning and will be speaking to its benefits at a luncheon hosted by the Fredericton Chamber of Commerce.
The agreement involves improved, standardized and harmonized regulation; mutual recognition of professional and trade credentials; and clear, consistent requirements for business. New initiatives will be added as opportunities are identified.
The agreement was initiated when a group of small- to medium-sized business representatives from Atlantic Canada were invited to attend a roundtable consultation on regulatory reform hosted by Business New Brunswick Minister Greg Byrne in Moncton in April 2007. Discussions at the event focused on the affects that regulatory systems have on business operations and on the economic growth potential of the region.
"Removing obstacles to business and the movement of skilled workers makes good sense any time, and even more so during a period of world-wide economic challenge," MacDonald said. "We are working hard, with a number of measures, to strengthen our economy, and this agreement with New Brunswick is another step in the right direction. It will help make it easier for businesses to operate and grow in both of our provinces."
At the last Council of the Federation meeting in Ottawa, the premiers reaffirmed their commitment to reduce barriers to trade and labour mobility among the provinces. The next step in the premiers' plan is to harmonize regulations and standards across the country.
Copies of the agreement are available in New Brunswick by contacting Wendy Betts, Office of Red Tape Reduction, at firstname.lastname@example.org or at www.gnb.ca/redtape. Copies of the agreement are available in Nova Scotia by contacting Mary A. Belliveau, Better Regulation Initiative, at email@example.com or at www.gov.ns.ca/iga/pdf/Pare09.pdf.
MEDIA CONTACT: Marie-Andrée Bolduc, Office of the Premier, 506-444-2286.