Sask. upset about Ont., Que. contracts favouring local firms
Dozens of companies calling for level playing field
About 30 Saskatchewan manufacturing and construction companies are lobbying politicians to ensure contracts are awarded fairly.
They are concerned that in some provinces, such as Ontario and Quebec, construction contracts are awarded preferentially to local companies.
However, in Saskatchewan, contracts are not awarded due to local preference.
The Saskatchewan companies say they want a level playing field.
"Saskatchewan and western companies need that protection," Ross Fraser, the senior vice-president of Supreme Steel in Saskatoon, told CBC News.
"Either bring everybody up to this free trade standard or give every province the opportunity to impose similar conditions."
Fraser's group wants the province to take action.
Saskatchewan's minister responsible for trade, Tim McMillan, says Saskatchewan fights trade violations legally, not with retaliation.
He has the province's lawyers looking into what can be done.
"Any time that there's potential trade barriers within Canada that are inappropriate, that violate the AIT [Agreement on Internal Trade] or other trade obligations, we want to act," McMillan said.
Trade is critical to Saskatchewan, so the government would rather make sure everyone is playing fair, he said.