Scheer vows internal free-trade deal as part of vision for stronger federation

Andrew Scheer is promising that a Conservative government would negotiate a deal to eliminate trade barriers among Canada's provinces.

The Conservative leader made the commitment as he outlined his vision for ``a stronger and freer federation.''

Scheer's approach is more decentralized and respectful of provincial jurisdiction in contrast to what he labelled as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's divisive, arrogant, top-down, ``my-way-or-the-highway federalism.''

If the Conservatives were to win the October 21st federal election, Scheer says he'll appoint an interprovincial-trade minister whose sole mandate would be negotiating a comprehensive, formal free-trade deal with the provinces.

The previous Conservative government began negotiations with the provinces on what eventually became the Canadian Free Trade Agreement, which went into force in 2017.

However, Scheer says there's nothing free about it since it includes 130 pages of exemptions and Trudeau -- quote -- ``hasn't lifted a finger to fix it.''