Last year, I mentioned a Canadian court case that could help promote free trade within Canada. Well, a lower court has now ruled for free trade, finding that the Canadian constitution does, in fact, guarantee free trade among the provinces. …
The possible impact:
Canada is rife with protectionist laws and regulations that prevent the free flow of goods from one province to another. These laws affect Canadians’ ability to buy and sell milk, chickens, eggs, cheese and many other things, including some that neither you nor I have ever even thought about. And that is the beauty of this decision. It will open up a national market in everything. Yes, the CCF, Comeau and Comeau’s pro bono defence lawyers Mikael Bernard, Arnold Schwisberg and Ian Blue can all be proud that we have “freed the beer.” But we’ve done more than that — we’ve revived the idea that Canada should have free trade within its borders, which is what the framers of our Constitution intended. That means that the Supreme Court will likely have to revisit the constitutionality of this country’s marketing boards and other internal trade restrictions. In other words, this is a big deal.
I think one of the great strengths of New Zealand is that we don’t have states, meaning we are one market, and have one set of laws.