Harper will be signing the Canada-EU ‘free trade’ agreement in Brussels in about 10 minutes from now (at 7:30 am ET).
The news reports this morning, ‘The provinces have approved the free-trade agreement with the European Union, but key players Ontario and Quebec are insisting the federal government open its wallet to mitigate some of the impact, notably by compensating dairy producers. …But political and legal obstacles remain for the deal, which is unlikely to take effect before 2015. …The long period to ratify the deal while it is translated into several languages and pushed through the European Parliament and the legislatures of all 27 members might allow for bumps. Canada has yet to agree to a related political treaty that guarantees respect for human rights. …And three countries – the Czech Republic, Romania and Bulgaria – have signalled they are unlikely to ratify the trade agreement unless Canada lifts visa requirements imposed to deter asylum-seekers.’
If the provinces have already capitulated to Harper, then Canadian, Quebecois and Indigenous peoples will find a way to work with our European friends to defeat this deal in the European Parliament and in the legislatures of the 27 countries within the European Union. Harper can sign the deal, but that does not mean he will win it.