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Eastern dealmakers watch feds fumble free trade opportunity

By Jesse Robichaud      

Although two of the region’s top trade commodities, energy and lumber, fall largely outside the parameters of NAFTA, the renegotiation might have struck pay dirt for this northeastern part of North America that relies on shrewd partnerships and ambitious deal-making to compete globally. Instead, defensive reflexes have crowded out the best intentions, dragging the trade deal into this decade and the ones that lay ahead, writes Jesse Robichaud.

Mexico's Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo, Canada's Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland and U.S. Trade Representative Robert E. Lighthizer give a joint statement on Sept. 27, 2017 at the end of the third round of negotiations to rework NAFTA. The Hill Times photograph by Andrew Meade

Free trade across America’s northern border is at risk of remaining frozen in the 1990’s as the veneer of hopeful rhetoric fades from the NAFTA negotiating table. That’s bad news in New England and Atlantic Canada where time-tested trading partners would have benefited from the fulfillment of a more modern, inclusive reboot of the deal.

Pace of virtual inspections on migrant worker conditions a concern, say critics, with half completed this summer

'This [program] should be a win-win-win situation, and it’s turned out to be a lose-lose-lose situation and it has to be rectified,' says Independent Sen. Ratna Omidvar.

One hopeful Tory candidate wants the Ottawa-Beijing relationship on the ballot

News|By Neil Moss
'In the riding and everywhere in Canada today, there are questions about the rise of China,' says Matthew Fisher, who is hoping to be the Conservative candidate in Kanata-Carleton, Ont.

Senators say publishing details of powerful committee’s internal work part of ‘evolution’ to greater transparency

‘The more we can, the more we want to be open,’ says ISG Sen. Saint-Germain of move to make public details of the the Senate Internal Economy Committee's seven subgroups.

‘We need courage’: Bloc, NDP MPs push for House to recognize Uyghur genocide in face of Beijing pressure

News|By Neil Moss
Chinese Ambassador Cong Peiwu told reporters on Oct. 15 a parliamentary recognition that the Chinese government is committing genocide against the Uyghurs would be met with a 'strong reaction.'

Industry looks to hash out new regulations on cannabis beverages

A year after edibles hit the Canadian market, some outstanding issues remain.

Byelection results should give Liberals ‘pause’ after strong showing from Greens, Conservatives, say experts

News|By Beatrice Paez
'While the Liberal fortress held... based on these results, I’m not certain an early election would produce a majority government,' says professor Tracey Raney.

RCMP neck-hold review ‘ongoing’ four months after Lucki’s promise

RCMP headquarters began tracking the use of the 'carotid control hold' by its officers nationwide in September. It has been used once since then, says a spokesperson.

MPs pass Conservative motion to initiate expansive committee study on feds’ pandemic response, despite Liberals’ objections

News|By Palak Mangat
A number of Liberals abstained from voting on an amendment that extended the government's timeline for disclosing documents sought under the motion.

Liberals fend off challenges in pair of byelections, but shed support in Grit stronghold in process

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