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Critics of a Canada-EU trade deal deliver a Trojan horse to Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Monday, October 17, 2011.
Critics of a Canada-EU trade deal deliver a Trojan horse to Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Monday, October 17, 2011.
(Sean Kilpatrick/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Why Harper badly needed the EU trade deal

This is the big deal, the one Prime Minister Stephen Harper needed, and the only one he’s likely to get before the next election. We don’t know yet precisely what he had to give up to get it.

A Canada-European Union free-trade deal, it is now doubly clear, is crucial to Mr. Harper’s political brand. After four years of negotiations, the PM tweeted that the deal was (essentially) done just as he was about to set out, in a Throne Speech, the governing agenda to take him to the next election. That underlined how much sealing the trade deal is crucial to his politics. Now he’s headed to Brussels to ink a deal.