The House

The Three Amigos push back against protectionist rhetoric

This week on The House, International Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland, interim Conservative leader Rona Ambrose and Green Party leader Elizabeth May share their thoughts about the Three Amigos summit. Then, the former Governor of the Bank of Canada, David Dodge, explains why Brexit, despite the uncertainty it's creating, could have positive consequences for Canada.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (centre), Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto(left) and U.S. President Barack Obama(right) take part in a family photo at the North American Leaders' Summit in Ottawa, Wednesday June 29, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Chartrand (Fred Chartrand/Canadian Press)

The Three Amigos wanted to send a concerted message to those around the world who've been pushing an isolationist agenda.

International Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland told The House this week that Canada wanted to join the leaders of the United States and Mexico to make such a statement.

"We are living in an age of an angry, populist wave of anti-globalization sentiment in some countries. In some places that's being expressed xenophobic, anti-immigrant sentiment. In some places it's being expressed as a vociferously anti-trade sentiment," she said.

Obama on the values of great countries 1:24

"Something that was very important for Canada to stand up and say is: we believe in an open society, we believe in a society that is open to immigrants, open to visitors. We believe that we are a trading nation and we believe in being plugged into the world economy," Freeland added.

International Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland talks about why the Three Amigos wanted to send a clear message about trade and cooperation. 8:52

Big picture aside, the interim leader of the Conservative Party argued that some of the announcements out of the summit were made possible by the work of her government.

"A lot of work was done with Mr Harper and Mr Obama," Rona Ambrose told The House.

She listed the methane emissions announcement, along with the transportation emissions reduction plan and border security issues as examples.

But Ambrose also admitted that the Keystone XL file had become "an irritant" between the two leaders.

The interim leader of the Conservative Party says a lot of what was announced following the 3 Amigos meeting was started under the previous government. 8:48

The leader of the Green Party praised the environmental commitments made by the 3 Amigos.

"It's a focus on climate such as we haven't seen in the last ten years," Elizabeth May told The House. But she also said there's more work to do.

"I want to see tougher (emissions) targets," she said.

The Harper government set a target of a 30 per cent reduction in greenhouse gases from 2005 levels by 2030, which is still in place.

The leader of the Green Party reacts to the climate change announcements that came out of the 3 Amigos summit. 6:28
European Union and U.K. flags (CBC)

Post-Brexit, Canada looks 'like a better place than many other places in the world'

Yes, the outcome of the Brexit vote has created uncertainty that will last for a whole.

According to the former Governor of the Bank of Canada, David Dodge, that will have a negative effect on growth and foreign investments in Canada. But there's no need to panic.

"It think it's relatively, relatively, small," Dodge told The House.

In fact, he said uncertainty elsewhere makes Canada look better.

"We do look like a country, both from the political side and from the economic side... a pretty good place to be at the moment."

The Canadian Governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney. (Reuters)

Dodge also talked about Mark Carney, the Governor of the Bank of England who used to occupy the same position in Canada.

"Mark is, at the moment, the only source economic stability in the United Kingdom," he said.

"Thank god for the U.K. he is there."

The former Governor of the Bank of Canada, David Dodge, explains how the uncertainty created by Brexit could affect Canada's economy. 8:30
Anne McLellan will lead a nine-member task force to advise the government on how to legalize marijuana, the government announced Thursday. McLellan is a former Liberal justice minister and health minister under Jean Chretien and was deputy prime minister under Paul Martin. (CBC)

One step closer to legalizing marijuana

Just how exactly will the federal government deliver on its promise to "legalize, regulate, and restrict access to marijuana?"

On Thursday, the government launched the task force that will try to answer that question, and ultimately advise Ottawa on how best to move forward with its legalizing marijuana.

The nine-member task force will be chaired by Anne McLellan, a former health and justice minister.

Its goal is to come up with the framework for a regulatory regime, McLellan told The House.

"What that looks like, it's way too soon to pre-judge. That's what the task force's work is over the next few months... figuring out what I call the "how" of legalization," she said.

The panel has been asked to report back to the government by November.

Legislation would then follow in the spring of 2017.

The head of the government's task force, Anne McLellan, and the parliamentary secretary to the Justice Minister, Bill Blair, talk about the road to legalizing marijuana. 9:47