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Kenney tells business audience Alberta will drop more trade barriers between provinces

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney says his government is eliminating more exemptions to a free-trade agreement between provinces.

Alberta will have the fewest exemptions in Canada after removing 8 of 14 remaining exceptions

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney speaks at a press conference in Edmonton on August 7, 2019. Kenney told a Saint John, N.B. audience Saturday that he wants to reduce barriers to trade between provinces. (Jason Franson/The Canadian Press)

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney says his government is eliminating more exemptions to a free-trade agreement between provinces.

Kenney announced during a speech to the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Saint John, N.B., on Saturday that Alberta will remove eight of 14 remaining exceptions to the Canadian Free Trade Agreement.

Kenney says it will move Alberta from being the province with the third-highest number of exemptions when he announced in July that he would remove half of them, to being the province with the fewest exemptions in Canada.

A news release from the Alberta government says the announcement on Saturday deals with areas such as the energy sector, alcohol and the sale of public lands.

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

But critics, including Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer, have said there's nothing free about it since it includes 130 pages of exemptions.

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