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Canada's House of Commons expected to approve USMCA by Easter

20 February 2020

The Vice President of the Canadian Global Affairs Institute is confident the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement will be approved by the House of Commons by Easter.

The USMCA has been ratified by the United States and Mexico with hopes of implementation by 1 July leaving only Canada to finalise the agreement. Colin Robertson, the Vice President and a Fellow of the Canadian Global Affairs Institute notes the Trudeau Government has identified ratification as a top priority but the Liberals do not hold a majority and will need to pick up additional votes.

"The Conservatives have said they will not obstruct the current and interim leader, Andrew Sheer, who has resigned as leader and there will be a Conservative leadership in June to replace him," says Robertson.

"He has declared that the Conservative party will support the legislation and not hold it back. He's doing so in part because of strong encouragement from all of the premiers.

"The premiers have written to all of the parties saying they would like to have this passed as quickly as possible. My sense is that it will go through fairly quickly because the official opposition supports it, as does the government.

"As for the other parties, the next largest party is the Bloc Quebecois with 32 seats and they are all based out of Quebec. Their leader has said they want to see better compensation for dairy farmers. The NDP has never met a trade deal that they liked, at least federally.

"This is interesting because all provincial premiers, including the NDP Premier of British Columbia support this agreement, as did previous NDP premiers from Saskatchewan and Manitoba from in an earlier time with NAFTA, so they'll oppose it.

"The Greens will likely oppose it but it shouldn't have any problem getting through the House of Commons before or just after Easter."

Robertson says, assuming the deal is approved in the House if Commons, it is then likely to spend a couple of months in the Senate. He expects it to receive Senate approval in mid-June at which point it will be given Royal Assent by the Governor General.



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