Lesson Plan: For Teachers: The Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement
Ask students what they know about Canada's trade relationship with the United States. Have them brainstorm recent trade issues between the two countries, and record their responses on the board or on chart paper. Identify the 1988 Free Trade Agreement and the 1994 NAFTA and ask: Do you think these trade pacts have affected Canada positively or negatively? Why?
Outline the Opportunity
Have students browse the topic Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement on the CBC Digital Archives website for 15-20 minutes. As they browse, students should take notes on the events and people behind the Free Trade Agreement, the main issues in the debate surrounding it, and the impact it has had on Canada since the agreement went into effect in 1988.
Revisit and Reflect
Write the following questions on the board: Why was the Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement controversial in Canada in the late 1980s? What have been the major effects of the free trade agreement? Has it been beneficial for Canadians and the economy?
Using the information they have gathered, students can answer the questions in a class discussion, then prepare a brief class summary of what they have learned about the Canada-U.S Free Trade Agreement.
Students can choose a major participant in the debate over free trade from the mid- and late-1980s. In role, they can write a short statement arguing the case either for or against free trade with the United States.