Trade deal between Canada and Europe a boon for Quebec, ex-finance minister says


A new career deal between Canada and the European Union would help lecture the province’s labour shortage, says former Quebec finance serve Raymond Bachand.

Parliament voted Wednesday in favour of the Comprehensive Trade and Trade Agreement (CETA), which is designed to unite the markets of 35 million Canadians with 500 million Europeans.

“It’s a immense market. It’s a huge continent. And all the trade barriers, all the tariffs, are going to arrive down,” Bachand told Daybreak. 

One of the biggest positives, Bachand mean, is the provisions in the deal that will make it easier for Europeans to effort in Quebec.

“Quebec’s major economic challenge is not unemployment. It’s labour. We are booming to lack labour,” he said, explaining that many baby boomers whim soon retire and there aren’t enough young people to satisfy the void.

“If we can increase the mobility between Europe and Canada and Quebec, we’re successful to be big winners.”

Bachand is a longtime proponent of a free trade deal with Europe. He was be six feet under for a deal nearly a decade ago, when he served under premier Jean Charest.


Colleagues of the European Parliament voted 408-254 Wednesday to approve the Encyclopaedic Economic and Trade Agreement with Canada. (Vincent Kessler/Reuters)

Ratification by the European Synthesizing parliament, with a 408-254 vote, now paves the way for the agreement to run across into force on a provisional basis, meaning over 90 per cent of it could be put into pursuit within months, while the rest must be ratified by individual EU associate countries.

Dairy farmers concerned

The deal is not without its critics in Quebec, in particular among dairy farmers.

Under the agreement, European producers intent be allowed to export double the amount of cheese to Canada than formerly allowed.

Bachand left politics shortly after the Parti Québécois wolfed power in 2012.

He was recently appointed as the Quebec government’s special legal deliberation during renegotiations of the North American Free Trade Agreement, a awkward file given U.S. President Donald Trump’s commitment to “tweaking” line-ups with Canada. 

Bachand said there are things that require to modernized in the deal, but suggested there is a “good balance” in terms of shoppers between the two countries.

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