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Poison pills and protectionism: negotiators still face long list of issues in next NAFTA round

By Samantha Wright Allen      

As negotiators head to Montreal next week for the sixth round of negotiations, here's an overview of the issues in play.

Canada's chief NAFTA negotiator Steve Verheul, pictured with Andrew Leslie, parliamentary secretary on Canada-U.S. relations to the minister of foreign affairs, will meet with his counterparts in Montreal next week, from Jan. 23 to 28, for the sixth round in negotiations—one that observers say will be a 'make-or-break' session. The Hill Times photograph by Andrew Meade

Last week, trade observers could be forgiven for feeling whiplash after reports swung from Canadian advisers expecting an imminent United States withdrawal from NAFTA to U.S. President Donald Trump musing negotiations could continue past Mexico’s July presidential election.

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Today’s Throne Speech steeped in British parliamentary tradition dating back to at least the 16th century

Feature|By Aidan Chamandy
Queen Elizabeth, on her first royal visit to Canada in 1957, delivered John Diefenbaker's first Throne Speech. In 1977, she delivered Pierre Trudeau's Throne Speech as well in Canada.

Rookie PSPC minister a ‘calculated risk’ as a cabinet pick, say observers

News|By Palak Mangat
Canada's new procurement minister Anita Anand 'ticks a lot of the boxes,' says one political observer of the first Hindu to be appointed into cabinet on a federal level.

Liberals’ Anthony Rota elected Speaker of the House

MPs used a ranked-ballot voting system to elect the new House Speaker.

‘Thou shalt be there,’ government whip tells MPs as high-stakes minority Parliament kicks off Thursday

News|By Palak Mangat
In a minority Parliament, co-operation between parties is now an 'imperative, as opposed to something that we would try to do,' says Chief Government Whip Mark Holland.

‘A servant of the House’: MPs to elect Commons Speaker in early-morning ceremony

News|By Beatrice Paez
Incumbent House Speaker Geoff Regan says he expects MPs will be largely influenced by their peers' assessments of the candidates in casting their ballots for the new Speaker.

Political ties, not diplomatic bona fides needed for next Canadian envoy in D.C., says former ambassador

News|By Neil Moss
‘From a U.S. perspective, the relationship between the ambassador and the prime minister has to be extremely close,’ says Michael Kergin.

‘Let’s get on with the contest now’: chorus of prominent Conservatives calling for Scheer’s ouster continues to grow

News|By Mike Lapointe
But a Conservative source is decrying public criticism of Andrew Scheer's leadership, saying it will only create the kind of schisms that will set the party back and that former leader Stephen Harper worked to avoid.

Parliament security labour standoff nearing end of the road

Long-awaited collective agreements are finally being settled with the unions representing Parliament’s security officers, just in time for a new round of talks.

French envoy defends Macron’s NATO comments as ‘brave’

French ambassador Kareen Rispal says the 29-member alliance is in the midst of a political crisis and her president was recognizing that fact.
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