Freeland Urges Opposition Parties to Ratify New NAFTA Deal

January 27, 2020 Updated: January 27, 2020
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OTTAWA—Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland is pleading with the opposition parties in Parliament to ratify the new North American trade agreement, saying its passage is in the national interest.

Freeland spelled out the math of the minority government in the House of Commons after tabling a notice that the Liberals will introduce enabling legislation for the trade pact later this week.

It’s the first significant order of business for the government as Parliament resumes sitting after a lengthy winter break.

Shortly after tabling the notice, Freeland highlighted the significance of the trade pact’s being ratified in the United States, given that country’s very polarized politics.

The NDP and Bloc Quebecois are making no guarantees of passing the trade legislation quickly, while the Conservatives have said they want to further study the deal’s implications for Canada.

The Liberal government is also expected to introduce legislation to ban military−style assault rifles and make what’s sure to be a controversial decision on whether to allow a new oilsands project in Alberta to proceed.

The Liberals have 157 seats in the House of Commons, meaning they need the support of other parties to advance any of the bills on their agenda.