Minister: Ontario construction procurement practices might violate agreement

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Saskatchewan Energy and Resources Minister Tim McMillan said he has a preliminary legal opinion that Ontario public construction procurement practices might be in violation of trade obligations between provinces, The StarPhoenix reported Jan. 8.

On Jan. 7, McMillan commented on letters sent to the government, signed by about two dozen Saskatchewan companies, asking for action on the trade issue, the newspaper said.

“We’ve been hearing from some of these businesses for a little while,” the minister said, noting the government has looked into procurement and trade practices of both Ontario and Quebec.

Incentives in place in Quebec related to construction procurement aren’t in violation of free trade obligations.

“Ontario, on the other hand, we have a preliminary legal opinion that leads us to believe that they may be in violation and we’re doing some work here in the short term to firm that up, and if that is the case, we’ll act aggressively on it,” McMillan said.

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