Why barriers to trade between the provinces leave us all poorer

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No legitimate public policy objective is served by legislating different creamer containers, beer bottle sizes, organic kale standards, or maple syrup grades. But item #7 on carbon pricing policy differences isn’t so silly, and doesn’t really belong. More on this later. The list is also silent on the countless differences in professional certifications, apprenticeship rules, or other such barriers to labour mobility and trade in services. It also doesn’t tackle biased government procurement policies, such as governments in one province giving contracts for supplies, say, to potentially more expensive local firms when better suppliers in another province are ready, willing, and able.

In any case, it serves an important illustrative purpose. Though all individually may seem trivial, and perhaps some of them are, slight difference in rules and regulations can inhibit trade and impose costs upon households and businesses. These costs add up and our economy is smaller for it.