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Western provinces sign economic deal

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1 Western provinces sign economic deal on Sun May 02, 2010 8:19 am

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The premiers of B.C., Alberta and Saskatchewan have signed a deal designed to help the three provinces remove barriers to economic development and function more as a single economic zone.

Under the New West Partnership agreement, which was signed Friday in Regina by B.C.'s Gordon Campbell, Alberta's Ed Stelmach and Saskatchewan's Brad Wall, professional qualifications and business licences obtained in one province will be recognized by each of the partners.

"We signed an agreement today that creates an amazing economic force: the New West, an economic region of 9 million people strong and $555 billion in GDP," Wall said. "It is an economic region that is home to a number of industries the world is very interested in right now."

The deal means, for example, a teacher who's certified in Saskatchewan will also gain certification in the other two provinces.

The provinces also agree to promote the region together. The three premiers will start doing that next month when they travel together on a trade mission to Japan and China.

They also say they'll try to use the provinces' joint purchasing power to get better deals from suppliers for things like prescription drugs.

That should save all of them money, Campbell said.

"If we jointly procure equipment for our schools or we jointly procure textbooks or pharmaceuticals, there are substantial savings for British Columbians, Albertans and people from Saskatchewan," Campbell said.

The deal includes an innovation agreement, which the provinces say will better co-ordinate efforts to attract investment and talent.

Alberta's Stelmach said with all three provinces shopping together, they will be able to reduce some of their public expenditures.

"When we do that, we can then keep our taxes low, and that's what's going to attract investment from other countries," he said.

"We've just gone through a huge global economic shift," he added. "There's going to be tremendous competition for labour, for investment, and investment will naturally navigate to those areas that have same regulations, [a] larger base of population."

The deal has been the subject of intense Opposition scrutiny in the Saskatchewan legislature in recent days, with NDP leader Dwain Lingenfelter asking how the government can sign a deal without telling the public what's in it.

Labour groups have also raised concerns that the deal will lead to a lowest common denominator of health, safety and environmental regulations.

However, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business hailed the agreement, saying it will reduce the red tape its members face and could help solve labour shortage problems.

Manitoba welcome

Manitoba's NDP government was noticeably absent from the media conference Friday.

That province's deputy premier said her province wasn't invited to be part of the partnership — but Rosann Wowchuk says "that's fine by her".

She said Manitoba already works with each of those provinces when common issues, such as energy, arise.

"When it comes to trade, we prefer a more national approach for Canada … rather than hiving off a certain part of the country,"
Wowchuk said in a phone interview.

Wall, Campbell and Stelmach said Manitoba and other provinces would be welcome to sign on, if they're interested.

(With files from The Canadian Press)


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2 Re: Western provinces sign economic deal on Sun May 02, 2010 8:20 am

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Imagine how Manitoba were to have fared under a government that understands business drives an economy, not government. The current government scares me. The people that keep voting this government into power frightens me more.

It might well be time for a new governing party. None of the current three stooges seem remotely fit to run this great province.


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Sell crazy someplace else, we're all stocked up here.

3 Re: Western provinces sign economic deal on Sun May 02, 2010 2:21 pm

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administrator wrote:Imagine how Manitoba were to have fared under a government that understands business drives an economy, not government. The current government scares me. The people that keep voting this government into power frightens me more.

It might well be time for a new governing party. None of the current three stooges seem remotely fit to run this great province.

Isn't this exactly what GOM wrote on Skyscraper forum; word for word???

4 Re: Western provinces sign economic deal on Sun May 02, 2010 3:03 pm

grumpy old man

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...and your point is?


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Yes, I really am that Grumpy...

It's their, they're and there; in Canada it's colour, cheque, rumour and zed...

5 Re: Western provinces sign economic deal on Sun May 02, 2010 3:12 pm

EdWin

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My point is.....I find it odd, and unorigional on someone's part. That's my point.

6 Re: Western provinces sign economic deal on Sun May 02, 2010 3:14 pm

Miz point

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Hey, lighten up eh? Just a joke right?


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7 Re: Western provinces sign economic deal on Sun May 02, 2010 3:15 pm

grumpy old man

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EdWin wrote:My point is.....I find it odd, and unorigional on someone's part. That's my point.
Unless...


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Yes, I really am that Grumpy...

It's their, they're and there; in Canada it's colour, cheque, rumour and zed...

8 Re: Western provinces sign economic deal on Sun May 02, 2010 3:15 pm

EdWin

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Oh, it's a joke. Ok, I get it now. Haha.
There, it's settled now.

9 Re: Western provinces sign economic deal on Sun May 02, 2010 3:16 pm

EdWin

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grumpy old man wrote:
EdWin wrote:My point is.....I find it odd, and unorigional on someone's part. That's my point.
Unless...

I have no idea what you are referring to.

10 Re: Western provinces sign economic deal on Sun May 02, 2010 5:28 pm

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grumpy old man wrote:
EdWin wrote:My point is.....I find it odd, and unorigional on someone's part. That's my point.
Unless...

Yea unless

11 Re: Western provinces sign economic deal on Mon May 03, 2010 8:12 am

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To bad this is the only have not province in the west that we did not even get invite .

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