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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CGA-BC Applauds Action on Labour Mobility Agreement
Vancouver, B.C.—December 12, 2008—The Certified General Accountants Association of British Columbia (CGA-BC) has enthusiastically welcomed the news that progress has been made on internal Canadian trade, including the move toward unfettered mobility of professionals. On December 5, the Federal-Provincial-Territorial Committee of Ministers on Internal Trade (CIT) announced it had approved a report that would amend issues relating to labour mobility and an enforceable dispute resolution mechanism under the Agreement on Internal Trade (AIT).

Pat Keller, FCGA
CGA-BC President Pat Keller, FCGA

"It is important that at a time when we are facing tremendous labour shortages that barriers to the free movement of professionals and other workers be removed," said Pat Keller, FCGA, President of CGA-BC.

He said that the Association was pleased that the CIT had endorsed a report by the Forum of Labour Market Ministers that includes amendments to Chapter 7 of the AIT. CIT Ministers have approved wording to amend Chapter 7, pending Cabinet ratification by governments.

CGA-BC also welcomed progress towards strengthening the dispute resolution mechanism of the agreement by introducing enforceability measures. These include a more effective compliance process, provision of an appeals process, monetary penalties and suspension of dispute resolution privileges.  The Association also believes that these measures should be extended to disputes launched by persons against governments.

“This agreement is going to be an incredible boost for the economy of B.C. and will improve our province’s --- indeed Canada’s --- competitiveness,” Keller said.  “It will allow Canada’s different economic regions to compete as an economic whole. That’s not just good news, that’s an economic necessity for this country, and long overdue.”

The CGA-BC President praised Ida Chong, FCGA, Chair of the Committee of Ministers on Internal Trade and B.C. Minister of Technology, Trade and Economic Development, saying she deserved special recognition for making this agreement possible.

“As Minister, Ms. Chong has understood the importance of ensuring that Canada becomes a single unified market and she has shown great leadership on the matter. We also want to recognize the role Premier Campbell has played in keeping this issue front and centre on the First Ministers’ agenda.”

Ida Chong, FCGA, Chair of the Committee of Ministers on Internal Trade 

Keller said he was optimistic that the governments involved would ratify the text on labour mobility well in advance of the April 1, 2009 deadline.

The Certified General Accountants Association of British Columbia represents more than 14,000 CGAs and students. Members work in industry, commerce, government and in public practice. The Association promotes the excellence of its members and advances the accounting profession through education, certification and the protection of the public interest.


 

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For more information, contact:
Edward Downing, Director of Communications
Telephone: (604) 730-6208
E-mail: edowning@cga-bc.org

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