The hypocrisy of the provinces.

If there was ever a reason to change Canada’s constitution, it will be the hypocrisy of so many of our provincial leaders. It also explains why I often preferred to drive to Ottawa from Toronto when dealing with some federal departments. It was because I could return to Toronto with a trunk full of inexpensive wines purchased in Gatineau, Quebec.

And, as long as that wine was for personal use, I was not breaking any law. It was just that Canada Post or a delivery service would be breaking the law if they crossed the same border and delivered the wine to my Toronto home.

Canada’s premiers have been meeting fairly often for the past 60 years and frequently discuss inter-provincial barriers to commerce. They have promised much and resolved little, in all that time.

Alcohol is not the only problem. The greatest hypocrisy is the provincial control of trade in terms of professionals licensed in one province having to obtain a license in another province in order to sell their services in that province.

This does not exclude the problems related to language. Provincially regulated trades can still dictate what language you have to be able to speak.

Of course, that does not apply to the federal government. I once signed a contract with the federal government that required me to spend time in meetings in Ottawa and in the department’s Laval, Quebec facility. Nobody had thought to mention to me that the Laval facility was run in French. They quickly found out my language limitations when I had my first meeting with a dozen or so staff members in Laval. It was a tough year, though it helped me improve my French, a bit.

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