Winter 2007 Atlantic Report
After two decades where Canada worried mostly about its international trade, in particular its relationship with the US, the spotlight is back on domestic markets. Alberta and British Columbia have taken a significant step towards the creation of a single economy with the establishment of the Trade, Investment and Labour Mobility Agreement (TILMA) last April. Could this encourage Atlantic Canada to follow the western lead?
· The goal of TILMA is to establish a single economy in Canada’s rapidly expanding western provinces, reducing provincial barriers to investment and labour mobility which could inhibit future growth, and thus creating an economic powerhouse to balance the dominance of Ontario and Quebec.
· Provincial governments engage in numerous initiatives to cement the relationship among the four Atlantic provinces. However, the broader challenge of identifying strategic priorities and taking concrete steps to improve internal trade has largely been sidestepped.
· If the establishment of a more open economy in Atlantic Canada is to be successful, the push will need to come from outside government, particularly from the business community.
In this quarterly report, we outline the new initiative underway in western Canada, explore the economic cooperation initiatives underway in this region and ask whether Atlantic Canada is ready to match the challenge set in western Canada. The Atlantic Report also includes an overview of the Atlantic economy and a detailed provincial report for each Atlantic province.