Mr. Speaker, I am happy to respond to comments made earlier by the hon. member for Perth—Wellington regarding interprovincial trade.
Our government has shown tremendous leadership in advancing internal trade throughout Canada. On April 7, 2017, our government and all of the provinces and territories announced the successful completion of the Canadian Free Trade Agreement. Our government is proud to have played a leadership role in the agreement's negotiations. We worked in collaboration with provinces and territories in order to craft a new agreement, an ambitious and modern framework for more open trade within Canada.
It is the most comprehensive reform to Canada's internal market in over 20 years. Since entering into force on July 1, 2017, the Canadian Free Trade Agreement has delivered. It includes a comprehensive new process to align regulations, remove barriers, and help reduce business costs. It provides broader access for Canadian companies to billions of dollars in government procurement contracts across the country. In fact, for the first time, Canadian companies operating in certain regulated professions, such as engineering, are now able to compete for government contracts across the country. In addition, suppliers to most publicly owned energy utilities can also now bid for a range of government contracts in many parts of the country.
The agreement's rules provide a framework that opens up trade within our borders in virtually every sector of the economy. It helps ensure that businesses based in Canada have the same or better access to our market as our international trading partners. More open markets are helping Canadian businesses scale up at home so that they can compete globally.
This agreement maintains strong provisions to ensure that Canadians can work in different jurisdictions across the country. It also ensures transparency and accountability for regulatory notification and for public reporting. The Canadian Free Trade Agreement has increased maximum monetary penalties to better ensure that governments comply with the agreement's rules.
Finally, the agreement is forward looking. It sets out a process and timetable toward enhanced trade in the few sectors of the economy that are not currently covered. That includes the sale of alcoholic beverages. To that end, our government worked with provinces and territories to secure a commitment to establish a working group on the interprovincial trade in alcohol. This working group is mandated to propose actions within one year to further liberalize domestic trade in alcohol in a socially responsible manner. Its work is well under way. Our government is committed to working hard to stand up for freer trade in our country.
We want to enhance the flow of goods, services, investments, and workers across the country, without any impediments. We want to continue working with all parties towards the rapid and co-operative resolution of any issues.