One step closer to Canada-EU trade deal: Freeland
Emily Chan, CTVNews.ca
Published Monday, February 29, 2016 9:44AM EST
Last Updated Monday, February 29, 2016 10:21AM EST
A legal review of the proposed Canada-EU trade deal, or CETA, is now complete, bringing the agreement one step closer to ratification, International Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland said on Monday.
"We have now concluded the legal review of the CETA deal, an essential step in the process," Freeland told reporters. "We're confident that this deal will be signed this year and that it will enter into force next year."
Freeland called the deal a "landmark" agreement that would bring "tremendous benefit" to both Canadians and Europeans.
She said the legal review resulted in changes to the investment and dispute settlement sections of the deal, and that both she and the government "fully support" the modifications.
The updated text will now allow for the creation of a permanent dispute-settlement tribunal and appeal system, and will "set out more detailed commitments on ethics for all tribunal members," a Global Affairs Canada press release says.
"I'm absolutely confident that Canadian investors and Canadian business will have their rights fully protected in this agreement." Freeland said.
The trade minister announced the completed legal review alongside Environment Minister Catherine McKenna, who touted the deal as an opportunity to foster innovation.
"At a time when we need to foster innovation and create good jobs as we move to a low carbon economy, opening ourselves to new markets like the EU will keep Canadian businesses competitive," McKenna said.
The full text of the deal is now available in English on the Global Affairs Canada website, and officials are currently working to translate the document into French and the 21 other EU treaty languages.
"Once finalized, we will focus on the swift ratification of CETA," Freeland said in a statement on the Global Affairs Canada Website.
With files from The Canadian Press