Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism.
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
Just$1.99
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); } //

Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland, seen here on Jan. 20, 2020, says that politics should be put aside in favour of the interests of Canadians, and that Parliament should work together to get the deal done.

Mike Sudoma/The Canadian Press

The minority Liberals made another pitch Sunday for cross-partisan co-operation on a key priority for the government in the upcoming sitting of the House of Commons: passing the new U.S.-Mexico-Canada free trade deal.

Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland called passage of the new NAFTA a pivotal moment for Canada in a letter she sent Sunday to leaders of the Opposition parties.

She said while no one expects anything other than a “full, frank, and vigorous debate,” she urged them not to hold up the deal.

Story continues below advertisement

“Canadian parliamentarians understand that, politics aside, the interests of Canadians come first, last, and always. I am confident this applies to you and to every member of your caucus, as it does for the Prime Minister, me, and every member of our caucus, too,” she wrote in the letter.

“Therefore, I ask that we work together, as colleagues, to put Canada and Canadians first, and get this important work done without undue delay.”

Freeland’s letter comes as the House of Commons resumes Monday for its first lengthy sitting since the October election returned the Liberals with a minority government. Legislation to ratify the trade deal is expected within days.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stressed to his MPs this week that the new mandate is not like their last, and they’ll need to work hard to win the support of their opponents to get anything done.

“Bickering, grandstanding, petty politics – none of these things create jobs. They don’t make anyone’s retirement safer, or our environment cleaner. Collaboration, dialogue, and constructive debate, however, can,” he said. “Common ground does exist in this Parliament, but it’s up to us to build on it.”

On the new NAFTA, the Liberals do have common ground with the ardently pro-trade Conservatives, who control the most Opposition seats.

The party’s international trade critic said it doesn’t intend to play games with the trade deal bill as businesses need it to get ahead.

Story continues below advertisement

But that doesn’t mean it gets a completely free pass, said Randy Hoback. Previous trade deals have left some industries behind, and that shouldn’t happen again, he said.

“We’re going to focus on the results of this deal. We can’t change it, the reality is we can’t make amendments to this type of legislation because they’d have to go back and renegotiate,” he said.

“But what we can do is look at the sectors and industries that are negatively impacted by this deal and not make the same mistakes we’ve made in the past.”

Hoback said the Tories want to hear from those groups, and figure out what the Liberal strategy is to mitigate the issue. Whether that work happens before the deal gets signed will be open for negotiation, he said, but it needs to be done.

With Conservative support, the bill could sail through, but the Bloc Quebecois and New Democrats say they won’t make that easy.

The Bloc has raised concerns the deal does not provide the same protections for Quebec’s aluminum industry as it does for the steel industry and Ontario’s auto-manufacturing sector and wants the text fully studied and debated.

Story continues below advertisement

The New Democrats say the fact that the deal was negotiated behind closed doors means due diligence needs to be done.

“We’re still meeting with industry and workers and talking to Canadians about what this deal will mean for them,” said NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh.

While the new NAFTA will headline the legislative calendar, the Liberals’ agenda also includes action on a promised ban on military-style assault rifles, strengthening health care, battling climate change, and seeking meaningful reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples.

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer said he has appreciated that the Liberals have reached out on major recent developments, like the spread of coronavirus and the deaths of Canadians in Iran following a plane crash.

But he’s not committing to the same overall tone of co-operation the Liberals are pitching.

“The Liberals will try to buy off the support from the other parties,” he said, after meeting with his MPs on Saturday.

Story continues below advertisement

“That means a lot of wasteful spending. It means an even bigger government that’s more and more involved in the economy and making decisions for people’s lives. So we will oppose those types of things.”

Our Morning Update and Evening Update newsletters are written by Globe editors, giving you a concise summary of the day’s most important headlines. Sign up today.

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow topics related to this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies