Standards and Regulations

When can businesses expect to see regulations and standards mutually recognized or reconciled?

Both parties have completed extensive bilateral processes to mutually recognize or reconcile standards and regulations that restrict or impair, trade, investment or labour mobility. Standards and regulations that do not operate to restrict or impair trade, investment or labour mobility are not affected by the agreement.

Does TILMA lower the standards and regulations for trades, professions and occupations?

TILMA requires that the two provinces work together collaboratively to identify impediments to the movement of people from one province to the other, determine why those obstacles exist, and consider whether they are truly necessary.

Will British Columbia and Alberta have the same standards and regulations?

TILMA does not require that the two provinces have the same standards and regulations. TILMA only applies to standards and regulations that restrict trade, investment and labour mobility. TILMA does not apply to provincial measures for water, taxation, royalties, labour standards, occupational health and safety, procurement of health and social services, social policy, and Aboriginal policies and programs.

Is it possible to introduce a new measure that may be contrary to part of the agreement without seeking an exception for the measure?

Yes. TILMA preserves each government's right to establish or maintain standards and regulations in pursuit of legitimate objectives, such as public safety and security, environmental protection and consumer protection etc. or fundamental climatic, technological, infrastructural, or scientific factors.

TILMA requires that the other province is notified when new standards and regulations are being contemplated, and they must be developed in a manner that is as non-restrictive on trade, investment and labour mobility as possible. Essentially, this requires governments to consider the impact on trade, investment and labour mobility when developing measures, and to ensure that any negative impacts are justified and necessary.

Can businesses choose which province's regulations to operate under?

No. Businesses must comply with the regulations of the province in which they are operating. Regulations are only one factor in business decisions regarding location. TILMA simply makes it easier for a business to expand its operations to the second province.

What if an occupation is not regulated in one of the provinces?

If an occupation is only regulated in one province, then a certified worker moving to the province where the occupation is unregulated cannot expect to be certified.

Occupations that are only regulated in one province are placed on a Transparency List for the information of workers. Find out more about the TILMA Transparency List. (Link not available yet)

Are the provinces allowed to continue regulating occupations as they see fit?

A fundamental part of labour mobility is the obligation of the Alberta and British Columbia governments, and their regulated bodies, to review and reconcile the different approaches to regulating occupations. However, each province retains the right to set its own standards under the TILMA for legitimate objectives such as to ensure the protection of the public, consumers and the environment.

What impact will labour mobility have on maintaining standards?

Regulatory bodies for almost all professions have reported that occupational standards in Alberta and BC were very consistent before the TILMA. In many cases, there will be no changes to current practices, while in other cases Alberta and BC have agreed upon a higher standard. If a province does have concerns, it is entitled to maintain additional measures so long as it can justify the measures as serving a legitimate objective.

You have reached the official website of the TILMA Agreement.
A partnership between the Governments of Alberta and British Columbia
Copyright 2023 Government of BC / Government of Alberta, Canada

The user agrees to the terms and conditions set out in the Copyright and Disclaimer Statement