The Current

Canada on the verge of signing ambitious free trade deal

Canada's efforts at a trade deal with the European Union have been marked by missed deadlines, stubborn issues and wary sectors at home. With Prime Minister Stephen Harper poised to showcase a deal while at the G8 Summit, we look at what's at stake....
Canada's efforts at a trade deal with the European Union have been marked by missed deadlines, stubborn issues and wary sectors at home. With Prime Minister Stephen Harper poised to showcase a deal while at the G8 Summit, we look at what's at stake.



"We have been making a lot of progress and they are the biggest trade negotiations Canada has ever had in its history. But obviously that said, we are not going to set a timeline or a fixed date on which we're going to have a negotiation ... which we're going to have an agreement because it is essential that we be driven by the contents of the discussions and we will not arrive at an accord until such time as we think we have the best accord we can get for the Canadian people". Prime Minister Stephen Harper

Stephen Harper is anxious to get a Free trade deal with the European Union. Last week negotiations continued with the Prime Minister  and French President Francois Hollande acknowledging they were "difficult".

Financial services, procurement limits for provinces and municipalities, drug patents, dairy, auto, Hydro and even eggs are just some of the areas under review when it comes to tackling protectionist policies.

We wanted to find out what's at stake for three sectors, then hear from a proponent and critic of free trade with the E.U.

Canadian Cattlemen's Association, John Masswohl

John Masswohl is the director of government and international relations for the Canadian Cattlemen's Association and he's attending the negotiations. He joined us from Ottawa.

Economist with Canadian Auto Workers Union, Jim Stanford

Our next guest is watching these talks closely on behalf of the Canadian auto Industry, and believes it's going to lose out. Jim Stanford is an economist with the Canadian Auto Workers Union and he was in Toronto.

Toronto City-Councillor, Kristyn Wong-Tam

Kristyn Wong-Tam is a city councillor in Toronto. She's concerned about the impact the trade agreement with the European Union may have on cities and the practice of buying things locally.

Council of Canadians, Stuart Trew

Stuart Trew is a researcher and campaigner for the Council of Canadians, which opposes this deal. He was in Toronto.

Canada Europe Roundtable for Business, Jason Langrish

Jason Langrish thinks the deal is positive for Canada on many fronts, and he's spent a decade working with Ottawa to help make it happen. He's the executive director of the Canada Europe Roundtable for Business and he was in our Toronto studio.


This segment was produced by The Current's Dawna Dingwall, Lara O'Brien and Karin Marley.

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