The NDP wants a comprehensive review of the new free trade agreement

Le NPD veut un examen exhaustif du nouvel accord de libre-échange

Jagmeet Singh was in Ottawa Wednesday to begin a planning session of two days with his caucus before the House of commons would resume its work next week.

January 22, 2020 18h42

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The NDP wants a comprehensive review of the new free trade agreement

Teresa Wright

The canadian Press

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OTTAWA — the leader of The New democratic Party (NDP), Jagmeet Singh, wants to adopt a “reflective approach” on the ratification by Canada of the new agreement of free trade in north america. Mr. Singh called for a comprehensive review of the agreement before deciding if the NDP will support ratification – an approach that could undermine the rapid process is desired by the liberals.

Mr. Singh was in Ottawa Wednesday to begin a planning session of two days with his caucus before the House of commons would resume its work next week.

He told reporters that his party would not give carte blanche to the Trudeau government on the new Agreement U.s.-Canada-Mexico (ACEUM).

Mr. Singh says the government has assured Canadians that he had obtained the best deal possible in negotiations with the United States and Mexico, but afterwards, the democrats in Congress have made sure to review the rights of labour and the provisions on steel and aluminum.

An in-depth debate in the House of commons and a committee’s study will enable Canadians to assess whether they are getting the best deal possible, said Mr. Singh.

“There are still concerns about the changes that have been made to help protect workers and the environment”, he argues.

“I am concerned about enforceability, and I want to ensure that we hold a comprehensive debate, a study committee, to ensure that it is a good deal for Canadians,” added Mr. Singh.

A priority for the liberals

The prime minister Justin Trudeau said Tuesday that he wished that Canada will move quickly to ratify the new agreement of free trade in north america, concluded at the end of painstaking negotiations.

His government intends to submit a motion upon the resumption of the work of the Parliament on 27 January to implement some of its elements, and intends to file a draft law to ratify the agreement two days later.

The approval of the agreement by the Parliament will be a priority, ” said Mr. Trudeau.

The ndp are not alone to say that they are not in a hurry to ratify the ACEUM.

The leader of the Bloc québécois, Yves-François Blanchet, has stated that its deputies will also be pressure to hold a comprehensive debate and committee hearings on the new agreement.

The ball is likely to be in the camp of the conservatives, because the liberals need the support of at least one opposition party to pass a bill in Parliament with a minority current.

Mr. Singh said that the agreement was negotiated “behind closed doors, take it or leave it”, and that Canadians have the right to understand all its implications before it is approved.

The leader of the NDP has spent the day with the most of its 24 mps to discuss the strategies of the first extended session of Parliament since the elections of 2019.

He said that the party will focus on issues that will improve the lives of ordinary Canadians, including housing, health care and transportation. The ndp will also be pressure to claim a national insurance program-drugs and dental care funded by the State, and to that indigenous communities get justice.

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