What should you expect for your business/organization with respect to federal procurement and trade agreement activities from the federal budget of 2020-21 and 2021-22 (Budget 2021)?
Budget 2021 included funding for programs to reduce barriers to trade and increase participation in federal procurements amongst groups that traditionally face difficulties accessing opportunities at the federal level. We provide here a concise overview, with links to more extensive resources, of the budget that was first presented to the House of Commons on April 19, 2021.
Highlights of the Budget related to trade and procurement include:
Removing Barriers to Internal Trade
$21 million over three years to:
- Enhance the capacity of the Internal Trade Secretariat, to reduce trade barriers within Canada.
- Create a repository of trade data to identify trade barriers within Canada.
- Pursue internal trade objectives through new or renewed discretionary federal transfers to provinces and territories.
Increased Diversity in Procurement
$87.4 million over five years to Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) to:
- Implement a program to increase purchasing from Black-owned businesses.
- Continue work towards the target of award of five per cent of all contracts to Indigenous-owned businesses.
- Improve data capture, analytics and reporting with respect to diversity in procurement.
- Ensure that goods and services procured are accessible, by design, to those with disabilities.
$1.9 billion will be invested over four years, starting in 2021-22, to recapitalize the National Trade Corridors Fund and invest in roads, rail and shipping routes. The government estimates this funding will attract approximately $2.7 billion from private and other public sector partners, resulting in total investments of $4.6 billion.
Strengthening Canada’s Trade Remedy System
Budget 2021 confirmed the government’s intention to launch public consultations on measures to strengthen Canada’s trade remedy system and to improve access to trade remedies for workers and small and medium-sized enterprises.
Administration of Trade Controls
$38.2 million will be provided over five years, starting in 2021-22. Starting in 2027, an additional $7.9 million per year will be provided to Global Affairs Canada (GAC) to support Canada’s trade controls regime.
Modernizing Travel and Trade at Canada’s Borders
$656.1 million provided over five years beginning in 2021-22, and $123.8 million per year starting in 2026-27, to the Canada Border Services Agency to modernize Canada’s borders. Funding will also support three Canadian pre-clearance pilot programs in the United States that will enable customs and immigration inspections to be completed before goods and travellers enter Canada.
Single Point of Access for Government Contracting in Canada
As previously reported in this past Fasken bulletin, Canada is aiming to launch electronic single-point-of-access for procurement notices by Sept. 21, 2022. Once finalized, this system will be hosted on this federal website.
Negotiations on a New Canada-UK Bilateral Trade Agreement
Following Brexit, Canada and the UK signed the Canada-UK Trade Continuity Agreement (Canada-UK TCA), which came into force on April 1, 2021. As part of the Canada-UK TCA, Canada and the UK agreed to commence negotiations on a new bilateral free trade agreement by April 1, 2022, and to conclude such negotiations by April 1, 2024.
GAC conducted a consultation from March 12 to April 27, 2021, to solicit input from Canadian stakeholders regarding trade with the UK. Despite the conclusion of these formal consultations, GAC continues to solicit input from Canadians. You can submit your input by email to email@example.com.
For additional information on the Canada-UK TCA, please see Fasken’s bulletins at the following links:
- Trade Update: Canada-UK Trade Talks Enter New Phase
- A Work in Progress: Updates regarding the Canada-United Kingdom Trade Continuity Agreement
- Saved by the Bell: The Canada-United Kingdom Trade Continuity Agreement
UK Begins Accession Process to CPTPP
In June 2021, Canada agreed to establish an Accession Working Group to begin negotiations with the UK on its proposed membership in the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). It is expected that the UK may join CPTPP as early as 2022.
Trade Agreement Procurement Thresholds for 2022-2023
Updated thresholds for government procurement coverage under Canada’s national and international trade agreements are provided in this downloadable PDF document.
Marcia Mills is partner in Fasken’s Ottawa and Toronto offices, and co-leader of the Fasken National Security Group. She practices in the area of Procurement and Government Contracts, National Security, International Trade & Customs, and Technology, Media and Telecommunications and is a member of the Fasken Government Relations team. With over 20 years of private and public sector experience, she provides her clients with legal and strategic advice for all aspects of tendering, procurement and government contracting, national security issues, and policy development and compliance programs.
Ryan Brun is an articling student with Fasken’s Ottawa office. He completed his LLB at University College London (UCL), where he graduated with First Class Honours. Prior to his legal studies, Ryan completed his BA at McGill University, where he double majored in Philosophy and International Development Studies.
Julien Frigon is an articling student with the Fasken Ottawa office who graduated from the University of Ottawa with degrees in both common law and civil law. He has coordinated the Pro Bono clinic ID Project, has worked as a research assistant and been involved with the Ottawa Law Review.