Calgary (July 5, 2016) – The Alberta Government should work with all provinces to allow barrier-free access for Alberta companies to bid on government contracts, says Alberta Party Caucus leader Greg Clark.
“Reports that the Alberta Government has suddenly changed their tune and are asking for 20% of provincial contracts to be allocated to local firms goes against the very idea of free trade,” said Clark.
Clark said trade barriers increase costs for government infrastructure projects because they reduce the pool of available bidders and also reduce labour mobility across the country, meaning Alberta companies couldn’t bid on projects in other provinces.
“Talk of a two-tier system means Alberta companies would be shut out of big contracts in most of Canada, including all western provinces and Ontario,” said Clark. “This is exactly how interprovincial trade barriers cost the Canadian economy billions each year. It’s bad for Canada and bad for Alberta.”
Clark said he’s encouraged by talk that other provinces will support a one-time exemption for the rebuild of Fort McMurray and given this, can’t understand why the government would want to block free trade.
“It shows the Government lacks a basic understanding of economics,” said Clark. “They’re clearly giving in to special interests, including their union backers, who want to get paid more for Alberta government contracts.
“It’s tremendously short-sighted and isn’t a responsible use of Alberta tax dollars.”
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Alberta Party Caucus